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Harriette Gowen Miller (AKAHarriette G. Bingham)

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Harriette Gowen Miller
American, (3/6/1892–4/28/1971)
Harriette Gowan Miller was an American painter and sculptor known for her work in multiple media.

She was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1892. A child of privilege, she attended the Cleveland School of Art, then studied in New York with urban realist painter Jerome Myers. Beginning in 1911, she studied with Charles Alexandre Picart-Le-Doux in Paris. She began as a painter and painted floral still lifes and landscapes throughout her life.

Miller's first husband was Henry "Harry" Payne Bingham (1887-1955), a Cleveland-born New York financier, art collector, and philanthropist, who later became vice president of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. They married in 1912, had three children, and divorced in 1925. Shortly thereafter, she married George Harlan Miller, a diplomat stationed in Paris, in 1926.

Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh stayed with the Millers in 1927 at their Paris residence, following the aviator's solo transatlantic flight. In honor of this achievement, Miller sculpted Fate Holding Back the Wind for Lindbergh that same year.

Even after returning to New York in 1929, Harriette continued to spend part of each year in Paris. In 1934, the Millers moved to Arlington, Vermont, to a home they named "Whimsy Farm". After renovating and expanding upon the 18th century farmhouse, they made Whimsy Farm their full time residence.

Their fellow Vermonter, Rockwell Kent, introduced Harriette to the avant-guard composer Carl Ruggles, whom she both sculpted and painted, being taken with his distinct and expressive features. She provided the composer with a monthly stipend from 1925-1971. Miller was active in the local art scene in Arlington, as well as being a founding member of the Southern Vermont Art Center in Manchester.

Miller worked in a array of materials - including, terra-cotta, wood, marble, faience, ivory, and bronze. Her sculpture is highly stylized, utilizing the spare lines of Art Deco. Egyptian Revival is also referenced, reflecting the 1920s fascination with the discovery of King Tutankhamun's tomb.

Miller had numerous solo exhibitions during her career. Her work was exhibited at the Kraushaar Galleries in New York during the 1930s, the Philadel[hia Academy of Fine Art Annual in 1927 - 1939, and the National Academy of design in the late 1920s and early 1930s. Late in the 1930s, acute arthritis caused her to abandon sculpting. By the 1940's, she had turned entirely to painting. In the 1950s, she opened a shop called Whimsy Antiques, where she sold pottery, glass, dolls, pewter, and silver.

She remained active in the Vermont art scene until her death from pancreatic cancer at the American Hospital in Paris in 1971. Her son donated a collection of her work to the Bennington Museum, which held a exhibition in 1990.

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