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Miller, Dorothy Canning, 1904-2003  Search this
Calder, Alexander  Search this
Picasso, Pablo  Search this
Guggenheim, Peggy  Search this
Gorky, Arshile  Search this
Feininger, Lyonel  Search this
Charlton, Maryette  Search this
Christo  Search this
Nevelson, Louise  Search this
Rauschenberg, Robert  Search this
Johns, Jasper  Search this
Levy, Julien  Search this
Still, Clyfford E.  Search this
Chryssa  Search this
Matisse, Pierre  Search this
Scharf, William  Search this
Canady, John  Search this
Rockefeller, Nelson A. (Nelson Aldrich)  Search this
Newman, Barnett  Search this
Rothko, Mark  Search this
Sage, Kay  Search this
Barr, Alfred H.  Search this
Feitelson, Lorser  Search this
Horwitt, Will  Search this
Coggeshall, Calvert  Search this
Byars, James Lee  Search this
Cahill, Holger  Search this
Hartigan, Grace  Search this
Hicks, Edward  Search this
O'Keeffe, Georgia  Search this
Alcopley  Search this
Sheeler, Charles  Search this
Noguchi, Isamu  Search this
Pereira, I. Rice (Irene Rice)  Search this
Steinberg, Hedda  Search this
Reinhardt, Adolph Dietrich Friedrich  Search this
Karpel, Bernard  Search this
Mather, Eleanore Price  Search this
Asher, Elise  Search this
DeFeo, Jay  Search this
Bontecou, Lee  Search this
Davis, Stuart  Search this
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden.  Search this
Betty Parsons Gallery  Search this
World Trade Center  Search this
Chase Manhattan Bank  Search this
Federal Art Project  Search this
Port Authority of New York and New Jersey  Search this
Smith College  Search this
Mark Rothko Foundation  Search this
PepsiCo, inc  Search this
Rockefeller University  Search this
Smith College.Museum of Art  Search this
Municipal Art Exhibition  Search this
Place of publication, production, or execution:
United States
Physical Description:
34.6 linear feet
Access Note / Rights:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
The papers of contemporary and folk art curator, historian, and consultant Dorothy C. Miller measure 34.6 linear feet and date from 1853-2013, with the bulk of the material dating from 1920 to 1996. The papers primarily concern Miller's art consulting work outside of her curatorial work at the Museum of Modern Art in New York city. Found are scattered biographical materials, extensive correspondence and subject files, and project files for her art consulting work for the Rockefeller family, Rockefeller University, Chase Manhattan Bank, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and other miscellaneous corporate and private clients. Her work as a trustee and committee member of various public and private boards and commissions is also represented here. Additionally, the papers contain Miller's research files on Edward Hicks and folk art, and a small number of files related to Miller's husband Holger Cahill and his work as Director of the Federal Art Project. There is important documentation of Miller's early curatorial work with Holger Cahill on the First Municipal Art Exhibition (1934) held at the RCA Building in Rockefeller Center. Artwork includes scattered sketches and drawings enclosed with correspondence and original Christmas cards sent to Miller by various artists. Photographs of Miller date from 1926-circa 1950. <br /> Scattered biographical material mostly concerns Miller's education at Smith College and awards and honorary degrees that she received. Extensive correspondence and subject files document her professional and personal relationships with family, friends, colleagues, museums, art dealers, and artists, as well as her research interests. Individual files may contain a mix of correspondence with, as well as about, the person or subject, compiled research documents, printed materials, and scattered photographs. Files are found for Lewin Alcopley, Alfred Barr, Betty Parsons Gallery, Cahill family members, Lee Bontecou, James Byars, Holger Cahill, Alexander Calder, Christo, Chryssa, Calvert Coggeshall, John Canaday, Maryette Charlton, Stuart Davis, Jay DeFeo, Lorser Feitelson, Arshile Gorky, Peggy Guggenheim, Grace Hartigan, Will Horwitt, Jasper Johns, Julien Levy, Pierre Matisse, Louise Nevelson, Barnett Newman, Isamu Noguchi, Georgia O'Keeffe, Pablo Picasso, Robert Rauschenberg, Ad Reinhardt, Kay Sage, Charles Sheeler, Hedda Sterne, travel, Clyfford Still, William Scharf, among many others. <br /> Detailed records of Miller's art consulting and advisory work for the Rockefeller family include correspondence with Nelson A. Rockefeller and David Rockefeller about building their personal collections of contemporary and folk art, meeting notes and minutes, research notes and writings, and printed materials. The largest group of records concerns the writing and publication of "The Nelson A. Rockefeller Collection: Masterpieces of Modern Art." Miller's curatorial work for David Rockefeller and the Rockefeller University's Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Hall art collection is documented in Series 4 through curatorial files, correspondence, printed materials, photographs and slides, artists files, and design records. <br /> Series 5 contains files relating to Miller's work as the first art consutant to the Chase Manhattan Bank and the building of the corporation's extensive collection of contemporary art. There is a draft of Miller's text for the bank's published catalog, "Art At Work: Chase Manhattan Bank Collection." A smaller set of records is found in Series 6 documenting Miller's work on the Art Committee of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, including files about selecting artwork for the World Trade Center during the early 1970s. Files concerning Miller's advisory work with additional public and private clients, boards, and commissions are arranged in Series 7 and 8 and concern the Amstar Corporation, Fidelity International Bank, First National Bank of Tampa, First National City Bank, Inmont Corporation, Pepsico, United Mutual Savings Bank, the Empire State Plaza Art Commission, the Hancock Shaker Village, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the Mark Rothko Foundation, the Museum of American Folk Art, and the Smith College Museum of Art. <br /> Miller's papers include a small group of files relating to the WPA Federal Art Project (FAP) created by her husband Holger Cahill when he was director of the FAP. A small series is devoted to Miller's work with Eleanore Price Mather researching and writing, "Edward Hicks: His Peaceable Kingdom and Other Paintings." A series of general research files contain miscellaneous research notes and photographs related to Miller's interests in early American art and folk art. Series 12 contains important documentation of Miller's early curatorial work with Holger Cahill on the First Municipal Art Exhibition (1934) held at the RCA Building in Rockefeller Center. <br /> Works of art are primarily in the form of Christmas cards sent to Miller by various artists including Elise Asher, Lyonel Feininger, Bernard Karpel, and Irene Rice Pereira. A small group of photographs includes photographs of Miller from 1926-circa 1950 and a few photographs of others.<br /> The addition includes biographical material; family papers; correspondence; professional files; art collection and client files; printed material; and photographic material. While a small number professional files are found here, the majority of material relates to her personal life, including correspondence with her husband Holger Cahill, and files pertaining to her personal art collection. Scattered correspondence, inventories, research, and notes created by curator and donor of the papers, Wendy Jeffers, are found throughout the collection. These materials date from the 1980s-2000s.
Dorothy C. Miller papers, 1853-2013, bulk 1920-1996. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Funding for the processing of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.
Related Materials:
The Archives of American Art holds two oral history interviews with Dorothy C. Miller. The first was conducted by Paul Cummings between May 26, 1970 and September 28, 1971, and details Miller's life from childhood up to, and including, her years at the Museum of Modern Art. The second was conducted by Avis Berman on May 14, 1981 and covers Miller's relationships with Mark Rothko and Clyfford Still. Also found among the holdings of the Archives are the papers of Holger Cahill, Dorothy Miller's husband and colleague.
The Museum of Modern Art Achives holds Dorothy Miller's papers related to her curatorial work at the museum.
Biography Note:
Dorothy C. Miller (1904-2003) was a museum curator and art consultant from New York, New York.
The collection was donated by Dorothy C. Miller via Wendy Jeffers between 1986 and 1997, and Reid White, Executor of Miller's estate, in 2004. Two subsequent additions were donated by Wendy Jeffers in 2014 and 2015.
Location Note:
Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 750 9th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001
Art  Search this
Art, Modern  Search this
Art historians  Search this
Corporations  Search this
Folk art  Search this
Art museum curators  Search this
Record number:
Art Theory and Historiography
Data Source:
Archives of American Art