an american regionalist painter
|New York, NY
|National Academy of Design, New York
Pennsylvannia Academy of Fine Arts
|National Academy of Design
American Watercolor Society
Philadelphia Water Color Club
California Water Color Society
Barse Miller Biography
Barse Miller began formal art instruction at the National Academy of Design while still in elementary school.
There he received instruction from Henry Snell. A few years later, he continued his education with Hugh
Breckenridge at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. Both of these teachers were award winning watercolorists.
At eighteen years of age Barse Miller was awarded the Cresson Traveling Scholarship which enabled him to study and paint
in Europe for two years.
In 1924, he moved to Los Angeles and settled. The next year he began exhibiting with the California Art Club
and by 1928, was an active member of the California Water Color Society, serving as its president in 1936, 1937,
and 1938. Barse Miller watercolors from this era were quite different than most works being produced on the West Coast.
They often included cityscape subjects with people, automobiles and industrial objects. As the new era of
California watercolorists, led by Millard Sheets and Phil Dike, emerged in the early 1930s, they welcomed Miller
into the movement and revered him as one of the leading figures.
Throughout the 1930s and 1940s, the watercolors of Barse Miller became increasingly popular, and his ability to
manipulate wet-into-wet washes had a huge impact on many of his students and fellow artists. His many years of
formal art instruction gave him an advantage because of his knowledge of color and design, so when the California
Group was being scrutinized in the 1930s, his work helped greatly to give the overall movement credibility.
During World War II, Barse Miller went into the United States Army and became head of the Combat Art Section in the
South Pacific. He produced a number of watercolors and was awarded for his artistic contributions that visually
documented the war in that region. After the war, he received a Guggenheim Fellowship and eventually settled
in New York state. His watercolors after this period became increasingly modern, as he sought to relate to a
changing art world.
During his period in California, Barse Miller taught at the Chouinard Art Institute and, for ten years, at the Art Center
School. As a teacher of watercolor painting, he helped many of the most successful California watercolorists to
understand the possibilities of this unique medium. In later years, he also made special visits to the West Coast
to teach at the Rex Brandt - Phil Dike Summer School of Painting and other watercolor workshops.
In addition to watercolor painting, Barse Miller also exhibited oil paintings and produced a number of murals
Barse Miller Biographical information: Biographical information in this book is based on interview with Betty Miller,
1984 and interview with Rex Brandt, 1983
Barse Miller biography provided courtesy of “California Watercolors 1850-1970”
by Gordon T. McClelland and Jay T. Last. Book available at hillcrestpressinc.com
Barse Miller.net is interested in purchasing all watercolors and oil paintings by Barse Miller. If you have a painting
by Barse Miller and are considering selling it or just wish to obtain an estimated value, please contact us and we'll provide a free art evaluation.
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