Home > Architecture, Art and Architecture, Books > Edgar Miller – Forgotten Renaissance Man

Edgar Miller – Forgotten Renaissance Man

In the late 1920s, Edgar Miller began a career as a designer.  This Art Institute of Chicago dropout began creating beautiful stained glass and woodcarvings in private residences around Chicago’s Lincoln Park Neighborhood.  Using scrap as material he created ornate environments where residents could escape the drudgery of life is the city.

Surprisingly, eighty years after being first envisioned, several of these private residences still exist.  Richard Cahan and Michael Williams capture these art-filled homes in a new book, Edgar Miller And The Handmade Home.  They tell the story of this artisan who spent most of his career creating beauty very few would experience and enjoy.

Miller didn’t settle for one medium, but rather explored painting, stained glass, ornate wood carvings and tile work, among many others, all for the challenge sharing his vision in a new way.   And what he achieved over his lifetime is truly something special.

  1. Elliot
    November 8, 2009 at 4:38 am

    I will certainly want to purchase this book. I would be even more interested in participating in an organized tour of the houses where his work exists.

    • November 8, 2009 at 2:00 pm

      These are private residences, but will be sure to post something here if tours will be given.

  2. Barbara Oppenheim
    January 29, 2010 at 5:06 pm

    My husband and I would love to have a tour of the private residences. Please let us know if you put this together. Thanks.

    • January 29, 2010 at 5:36 pm

      They are all private residences, so there has never been a public tour. If something comes up, I will be sure to let you know.

  3. hector
    March 3, 2011 at 7:40 pm

    I found some illustrations painted inside an abandoned train in Mexico of Edgar Miller, they are about American History and represents a travel from Saint Louis to the Pacific Coast. The problem is that nobody cares of them.

    • March 13, 2011 at 8:51 pm

      Very interesting. Do you have more details on these illustrations. I would be happy to pass the information along to the authors of a the book I profiled. It is sad the work of this artist is not appreciated.

      • April 28, 2011 at 12:40 am

        I was thinking another difference is intent. As a trained artist, you have technique and historical knowledge of what came before. An outsider artist has a deep passion or psychosis that drives their vision.

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