Edgar Miller and the Hand-Made Home: Chicago's Forgotten Renaissance Man

Edgar Miller and the Hand-Made Home: Chicago's Forgotten Renaissance Man

by Richard Cahan, Michael Williams
     
 

Embracing old-world skills in a technological age, Edgar Miller was Chicago’s last Renaissance artist. He was a fine painter, a master wood carver, and one of the nation’s foremost stained glass designers. He could sculpt, draw hunting portraits, and was considered a pioneer in the use of graphic art in modern advertising. His artistic genius came

…  See more details below

Overview

Embracing old-world skills in a technological age, Edgar Miller was Chicago’s last Renaissance artist. He was a fine painter, a master wood carver, and one of the nation’s foremost stained glass designers. He could sculpt, draw hunting portraits, and was considered a pioneer in the use of graphic art in modern advertising. His artistic genius came together in four artistic studios he built on Chicago’s north side in the 1920s and 1930s. He touched almost every inch of the studios with daring and surprise. He took rustic brick, crude stone, salvaged tile, found glass, steel, and wood, then “Edgarized” the homes with stained glass windows, frescos, murals, tile work, and wood carving. This collection contains over 400 images of the homes, which remarkably remain intact today.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"A place to live is a place to live. Walls, ceiling, stairway, kitchen, porch—mankind has to have them if he is to continue his ordered habits. Sometimes it makes no difference whether they are beautiful or not. There is a kind of decent comeliness that suffices very well for many homes—the clean cheap rug, the comfortable chairs, the uninspired covering of a wall with loopings or bedraggled flowers. If you feel that a home should be only this, and a springboard to leap lightly toward movie or baseball game, stay away from the Edgar Miller studios on Carl Street and Wells Street. For they will fill you with the haunting surety that you are missing something remarkable and lovely in this world."  —Alice McKinstry, written in 1930

Library Journal
Although Edgar Miller (1899–1993) designed and created interiors, exteriors, and ornamentation for buildings such as the North Dakota State Capitol in Bismarck and the Pierre Hotel in New York, most of his work was done in and around Chicago: murals for Marshall Field's, the 885 Club, and the Northwest Air Ticket office; stone carvings for the Madonna della Strada Chapel; and much more. His greatest accomplishment, though, was the four fully realized artistic studios he built on Chicago's North Side in the 1920s and 1930s. There he created environments that were "more a poem than a house, but admirable to live in, too." VERDICT This beautiful volume, by the authors of Richard Nickel's Chicago: Photographs of a Lost City, is a singular, admirable tribute to a brilliant creative talent of the American Arts and Crafts movement who has been forgotten for far too long. Students and scholars—as well as librarians—may lament the lack of a full bibliography here (clearly much research was done), but readers interested in the Arts and Crafts movement, architecture, and architectural ornamentation will admire this book.—Marcia Welsh, Dartmouth Coll., Hanover, NH

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780978545055
Publisher:
CityFiles Press
Publication date:
10/13/2009
Pages:
400
Product dimensions:
9.50(w) x 12.20(h) x 1.60(d)
Age Range:
10 Years

Meet the Author


Richard Cahan is a former picture editor for the Chicago Sun-Times and was the director of CITY 2000. He lives in Skokie, Illinois. Michael Williams is the author or coauthor of 10 books on Chicago history, including Chicago: City on the Move and Richard Nickel's Chicago. He lives in Chicago, Illinois. Alexander Vertikoff is one of the leading architectural photographers in America whose work has been featured in American Bungalow Magazine, Architectural Digest, and the New York Times. He lives in Tijeras, New Mexico.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >