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Rediscovering Chicago's Legendary Artist Edgar Miller

  • Second Presbyterian Church 1936 South Michigan Avenue Chicago, IL, 60616 United States (map)

Edgar Miller’s legacy as an American artistic maverick deserves more attention. He came to Chicago from Idaho in 1916 to study briefly at the renowned School of the Art Institute and then went on to have a storied career creating all kinds of art, commercial and private, throughout the 20th century. A master craftsman as well as a conceptual artist, he was able to translate his ideas into nearly any medium and is often referred to as a “Renaissance Man.”

During the height of his career in the 1920s and 1930s, Miller was friends and collaborated with numerous artists, designers, architects, writers, and civic leaders; he also designed and executed two bohemian artist colony buildings known as Carl Street Studios and Kogen-Miller Studios. In the commercial world, he became a prized decorative artist for top architectural firms like Holabird and Root.

Garnering more attention today is Miller’s Glasner Studio, one of his artistically rehabbed homes celebrated in Edgar Miller and the Handmade Home (City Files Press, 2009). The Studio is a true “total work of art,” a complete synthesis of art forms, and in this way it appeals to and inspires a wide range of artists, designers, and architects, as well as writers, musicians, and performing artists.

This lecture will hone in on a “best of” history of Miller’s broad and deep oeuvre and also discuss the preservation efforts to keep Miller’s incredibly unique history intact and vibrant for future generations to appreciate and learn from.

This is the third in a series of four lectures being presented in 2018 as partner programs with Art Design Chicago, a citywide celebration of the city's art and design legacy spearheaded by the Terra Foundation.  To learn more, visit  

Co-sponsored by Friends of Historic Second Church.
Photograph by Alexander Vertikoff courtesy of the Edgar Miller Legacy.

$10 per person / $8 for members

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Earlier Event: September 23
Prairie Avenue Walking Tour
Later Event: October 9
Tour: The Fortnightly