Dorothy C. Miller papers, 1853-2013, bulk 1920-1996

Miller, Dorothy Canning, b. 1904 d. 2003
Active in New York, N.Y.

Collection size: 34.6 linear feet

Collection Summary: The papers of contemporary and folk art curator, historian, and consultant Dorothy C. Miller measure 34.6 linear feet and date from 1853-2013, with the bulk of the material dating from 1920 to 1996. The papers primarily concern Miller's art consulting work outside of her curatorial work at the Museum of Modern Art in New York city. Found are scattered biographical materials, extensive correspondence and subject files, and project files for her art consulting work for the Rockefeller family, Rockefeller University, Chase Manhattan Bank, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and other miscellaneous corporate and private clients. Her work as a trustee and committee member of various public and private boards and commissions is also represented here. Additionally, the papers contain Miller's research files on Edward Hicks and folk art, and a small number of files related to Miller's husband Holger Cahill and his work as Director of the Federal Art Project. There is important documentation of Miller's early curatorial work with Holger Cahill on the First Municipal Art Exhibition (1934) held at the RCA Building in Rockefeller Center. Artwork includes scattered sketches and drawings enclosed with correspondence and original Christmas cards sent to Miller by various artists. Photographs of Miller date from 1926-circa 1950.

Biographical/Historical Note: Dorothy C. Miller (1904-2003) was a museum curator and art consultant from New York, New York.

Donated 1986-1997 by Dorothy C. Miller via Wendy Jeffers, in 2004 by Reid White, Executor of Miller's estate, in 2014 by Wendy Jeffers, and in 2015 by Jeffers and White.

Funding for the processing of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.

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The Archives of American Art holds two oral history interviews with Dorothy C. Miller. The first was conducted by Paul Cummings between May 26, 1970 and September 28, 1971, and details Miller's life from childhood up to, and including, her years at the Museum of Modern Art. The second was conducted by Avis Berman on May 14, 1981 and covers Miller's relationships with Mark Rothko and Clyfford Still. Also found among the holdings of the Archives are the papers of Holger Cahill, Dorothy Miller's husband and colleague.
The Museum of Modern Art Achives holds Dorothy Miller's papers related to her curatorial work at the museum.