Arthur Millier Archive
Scope and Content
This collection contains the personal papers of Arthur Millier and his family. Materials include extensive correspondence to Millier and his wife Francine, family photographs, photo albums, scrapbooks, diaries, and original art by Millier and his friends. It also contains miscellaneous ephemera, such as invitations to art shows, magazines, muscial scores, and programs. Items of note include correspondence from the composer Hugo Friedhofer, Arthur and Francine Millier's diaries, correspondence from their son Arthur Jr. ("Artie") during his service in World War II, and Millier's original etchings, and extensive correspondence from opera singer Lawrence Tibbett's wife Grace, including one letter from Tibbett himself.
- 1921 - 1975
Language of Materials
Languages represented in the collection: English, French.
Collection open for research.
All requests for permission to reproduce or to publish must be submitted in writing to Special Collections.
Biography / Administrative History
Arthur Henry Thomas Millier (1893-1975) was a noted printmaker and art critic who helped bring national recognition to many emerging California artists in the first half of the twentieth century. Born in England, he moved with his parents to California as a teenager, attended Los Angeles High School, and continued his studies at the Los Angeles Art Students' League. He served in France in World War I, and afterward settled for a time in San Francisco, where he studied at the California School of Fine Arts, worked as a designer at the Schmidt Lithograph Company, and honed his skills as a printmaker. His early etchings focused on street scenes and urban life in San Francisco, but his interest soon turned to the California landscapes for which he would become best known. He had his first solo exhibition in 1922. Over the years, he received several awards for etching, and today his prints are included in the permanent collections of such major institutions as the Los Angeles County Museum and the Art Institute of Chicago.
In 1922, Millier returned to Los Angeles and taught at the Chouinard Art Institute, Otis Art Institute, the University of Southern California, and the Pasadena Art Institute. In 1926, he became the art critic at the Los Angeles Times, where he would remain for more than three decades. From this position of influence, Millier was among the first to promote the growth of regional California art. His association with the California Scene Painters helped to establish the national reputations of such California artists as Emil Kosa, Phil Dike, Millard Sheets, Barse Miller, and Rex Brandt. He was also very sympathetic to work by members of the Los Angeles’ newly emerging modern art scene. He was friends with Edward Weston, Merle Armitage, Jake Zeitlin, Will Connell, Frank Lloyd Wright, R.M. Schindler, Richard Neutra, and other members of the Los Angeles’ avant-garde, and was a frequent champion of their work in his weekly reviews.
Millier’s art criticism was always respected, and he is frequently quoted in scholarly literature on the development of the California art scene, as well as the broader world of twentieth century art and design. Relatively little is known about Millier personally, and this archive contributes much to the body of knowledge about Millier’s life and family.
Biographical information provided by Walkabout Books, Laguna Hills, CA.
2.25 Linear Feet (1 records box, 2 document boxes, 1 slim document box)
This collection contains materials relating to Arthur Henry Thomas Millier, Los Angeles Times art critic, and his family. Highly active in the early twentieth century Los Angeles art scene, Millier was responsible for helping to establish the reputations of California artists such as Emil Kosa and Millard Sheets, among others. This archive contains correspondence, photographs, scrapbooks, diaries, and other personal materials from the Millier family. Items of note include original etchings by Millier, extensive correspondence with the family of the famous opera singer Lawrence Tibbett, and a program from the funeral of the artist Millard Sheets.
Organization and Arrangement
Materials in this collection has been arranged by type, then chronologically within each type.
Please consult repository.
Provenance / Source of Acquisition
Purchased from Walkabout Books, 2018.
No additions to the collection are anticipated.
Materials were placed in chronological order, letters were removed from their envelopes, unfolded, and placed in archival paper slings. Items were housed in archival folders and boxes.
- Arthur Millier Archive
- Finding aid prepared by Sara Chetney, MA
- Language of description
- Script of description