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 Courtney Luther Miles  (1887 - 1975)

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Lived/Active: California/Kansas      Known for: coastal and mountain landscape, designer

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Ad Code: 4
Courtney Luther Miles
from Auction House Records.
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Courtney Luther Miles painted, what turned out to be his master piece, the award winning 'Daniel in the Lions Den' in 1949.

He became well known nationally for his paintings of the 'Old West'. His titles were as western as their subject matter. 'The Ruthless Henchman', 'The Emigrants', 'Across the Mesa', to name a few. Their whereabouts are unknown. They were rich in color, charged with action and they added a great deal to the story of the West. Mr. Miles was self-taught and considered himself a conservative artist.

He and his wife built a home against the mountains of Sierra Madre, California in the late 1930's. People began to buy his paintings in substantial numbers, and he sold enough of his paintings to pay for the house.

Mr. Miles paintings have been exhibited at nearly every major gallery in CA. His art was shown at Laguna Beach Art Association, Exposition Park in Los Angeles, Little Gallery, City Hall, Williams H. Hatfield Art Gallery, Ainsley Galleries, Banker Bros., Frances Webb Gallery, and Paul Metcalf Galleries in Pasadena, Ca.

Courtney Miles, one man show in Hesperia Ca. was viewed at the Schiffman Gallery.

The desert artist's portrayal of familiar western and historical paintings include 'A Herd of Stampeding Buffalo', 1959. ' The Majestic Grand Canyon', 1961. 'Frolicking Bears', 1930, 'Desert Storm', 1960, 'Village Church', 1965 and Daniel in the Lions Den' 1949. Mr. Miles scenes depicted National Parks.

Courtney L. Miles came west with his parents, in a covered wagon, from Kansas to Los Angeles, when he was two years old. He had a twin brother, Claude, whom he loved. When the artist was a youngster he was interested in drawings, pictures, colors and lines. Later, this liking led him to a job in a 'paint and art store in Redlands, CA. Here he started to put paint on canvas as a hobby. He also liked the out of doors. Mr. Miles began depicting the desert. High Sierras, the sunsets, campfires, cowboys, horses. The whole atmosphere of the 'Old Golden West'. He also experimenting with oils and pastels, and made his own pigments. Miles molded them into cubes which he handled with expertice. He was entirely self taught and maintained his own individuality.

Courtney Miles art has been widely shown through out the U.S.A. and in France. His paintings are in dozens of homes and galleries.

The artist was also a sculptor. One of his works, 'The Bounty', depicting the tragic South Sea transport, was built by him on a scale of 1/4 inch to the foot. It was a culmination of 4,000 hours. Value of the ship model was appraised at $3,000.00.

Mr. Miles was a designer for Douglas Aircraft for ten years. For five y ears he worked on the Spruce Goose, the private plane of Howard Hughes.

Submitted December 2003 by Madalynne L. Bennett of Kingman, AZ. She is the daughter of the artist.

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in Kansas on June 1, 1887. Miles was brought to California in 1889. Most of his early career was spent in Sierra Madre, CA. During the 1940s he was a designer at Douglas Aircraft. A self-taught painter, he made painting trips to the High Sierra and the desert near Palm Springs. He died in Waterford, CA on Sept. 27, 1975. Exh: Artists Fiesta (LA), 1931; Women’s Club (South Pasadena), 1938; Gardena High School, 1945.
Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
Ferdinand Perret Files; Death record.
Nearly 20,000 biographies can be found in Artists in California 1786-1940 by Edan Hughes and is available for sale ($150). For a full book description and order information please click here.

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