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

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...

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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.

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Editorial Reviews

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
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780978545055
  • Publisher: CityFiles Press
  • Publication date: 10/13/2009
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 401,160
  • Product dimensions: 9.50 (w) x 12.20 (h) x 1.60 (d)

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.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Edgar Miller: Chicago's Lost Renaissance Man

Chapter 2. The Handmade Houses

Chapter 3. The Handmade Tradition

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