An interview of John Paul Miller conducted 2004 August 22-23, by Jan Yager, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, in Brecksville, Ohio.
Mr. Miller speaks of spending summers with his grandparents in central Pennsylvania; growing up in Cleveland, Ohio; taking art classes as a child at the Cleveland Museum of Art and in school; participating in theater and set design; attending the Cleveland School of Art and majoring in industrial design; meeting fellow student Fred Miller; working as a film editor; directing a documentary in Alaska; painting murals while in the army; exhibiting early jewelry in the "May Show;" traveling cross-country with silversmith Baron Erik Fleming; researching and experimenting with the granulation process; visiting museums in Europe; teaching at the Cleveland School of Art; being influenced by various books; choosing to work with metal; and pricing and selling his pieces. Mr. Miller also speaks of the enameling process; exhibiting in various local, national, and international shows; sharing a studio with Fred Miller; making gold granules; his work in museum collections; being inspired by Fabergé; making functional, wearable jewelry; the role of nature in his artwork; assembling his pieces; corresponding with German jeweler Elizabeth Treskow; working at Potter and Mellen; traveling throughout Europe; moving to Brecksville, Ohio, and building a home studio; participating in the American Craft Council; making films on metalsmith techniques; subscribing to craft publications; how crafts have changed since he started working; how American and international jewelry compare; his design philosophy; plans for the future; and balancing teaching with studio work. Mr. Miller also recalls Otto Ege, Kenneth Bates, Viktor Schrekengost, Harry Bertoia, Margret Craver, Alma Eikerman, Margaret De Patta, Toshiko Takaezu, Robert von Neumann, Peter Voulkos, Alexander Calder, John Marshall, William Harper, Solve Holquist, Anni Albers, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
John Paul Miller (1918- ) is a jeweler, enamelist, goldsmith, and educator from Brecksville, Ohio; Jan Yager is a jeweler and metalsmith from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Originally recorded on 6 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 11 digital wav files. Duration is 7 hrs., 58 min.
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.
Primarily research files and notes, subject files, interview tapes and transcripts, correspondence, writings, and other materials compiled by Harmon for a never-published biography of art dealer J.B. Neumann, titled The Art Lover. Found are photocopies of J.B. Neuman's correspondence with Karl Nierendorf, Clifford Odets, Elsa Schmid, and Alfred Stieglitz; photocopies and other materials from the J.B. Neumann Collection at the University of Texas at Austin, Harry Ransom Humanities Center, including photocopies of the magazine published by Neumann titled Art Lover Library, 1930-1957 (volume 1, 1930 is original bound volume), copyprints and photocopies of photographs of Neumann, his family, and of other subjects; interview transcripts and audio tapes with numerous artists conducted in the mid-1980s; research notes and files; and subject files on numerous artists (all photocopies).
Harmon's personal papers include resumes; copies of letters from friends, family, dealers and others; photographs of Harmon's paintings; writings, including poems, excerpts from diaries, autobiographical essays, and her autobiography FREEHAND; photocopies of various mss. drafts of Harmon's biography of Neumann, The Art Lover, and related writings by Harmon, including The Art Dealer and the Playwright, and Synopsis of Art Lover, ca. 1987-1990 ; a transcript of an interview of Harmon conducted by Karl Fortress, 1967; magazine and newspaper clippings; exhibition announcements and catalogs; and miscellany.
Interviewees include: Dore Ashton, Sally Avery, Alfred Barr, Phillip Bruno, Al Copley, Dorothy Dehner, Bettina Drew (about Nelson Algren), Elsie Driggs (also found is a video interview and transcript of Driggs by Merryman Gatch, n.d.), Ben Hertzberg, Leonard Hutton, Lewis Isaacs, Max Kahn, Katharine Kuh, Johanna Neumann Lamm, Frances Manacher, Peter Neumann, Albrecht Neumann, Nolbert Rothbaum, Margarete Schultz, Joseph Solman, Margarete Sapanel, Hugh Stix, Ilse Vogel with Howard Knotts, and Edward M.M. Warburg.
Biographical / Historical:
Painter and sculptor; New York City. Harmon worked for the influential art dealer J.B. Neumann, and spent several years preparing a biography of him which was never published. As an artist, she lived in Europe in the early part of the century, and worked on WPA art projects in the 1930s.
Donated 1983 and 1998 by Lily Harmon.
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Eva Lee Gallery records, 1921-1973. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Funding for the digitization of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.