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 Henry Miller  (mid 19th century)

About: Henry Miller


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Lived/Active: California      Known for: sketches-California topographic views

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
A sketch artist documented in California in 1857, Henry Miller depicted with India ink the California missions and several towns, having left San Francisco in February 1857 to travel to San Diego. Of his skill in documentation, art historian Edan Hughes wrote: "The proportions in his sketches were often inaccurate; however, his drawing and shading were well executed". (769)

Little is known of Miller's background except that he had previously traveled in Mexico, South America and the West Indies. The California sketches are in the Bancroft Library at the University of California, Berkeley, and an autobiographical account of his painting tour of the missions was published by Bellerophon Books and is titled "Account of a Tour of The California Missions & Towns 1856".

That account with sketches describes his trip from San Francisco to San Diego and has sketches and verbal text that includes views of Mission San Francisco de Asis, now called Dolores; Santa Clara Mission; Mission San Jose; Mission San Juan Bautista; Mission Santa Cruz; San Carlos de Monterey; Point Pinos; Mission San Carlos Borromeo; Mission San Antonio de Padua; Mission San Miguel Arcangel; Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa; Mission Santa Ines; Mission Santa Barbara; Mission San Gabriel Arcangel; San Luis Rey and Mission San Diego. He also included sketch views of Los Angeles, San Bernardino and San Diego.

The last lines in his published journal were that "On the 13th of October, having finished my sketches, I returned to Los Angeles, from where I went to San Francisco by the 'Steamer Seabird'. " (Miller 63)

Henry Miller, "California Missions: The Earliest Series of Views Made in 1856", Published by Bellerophon Books
Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
Peter Falk, "Who Was Who in American Art"

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