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Carl and Olga Milles papers, 1933-1951

Milles, Carl, 1875-1955

Art teacher, Sculptor


Collection Information

Size: 0.4 Linear feet, (on a partial microfilm reel)

Summary: Letters received by Olga Milles, primarily from her family, the Granners, in Graz, Steiermark, Austria (1933-1951). Other correspondents include Kurt Messner (from prisoner of war camp), his father Adolf Messner (1944-1946), Carl Milles (1944-1951), his sister Ruth Milles (1940), and Signe Rutenskold (1944-1946). Three letters were written to Carl by Olga (1939). Other materials consist of a one-page essay on "Youth" by Frank Crane and 3 photographs, of Benito Mussolini (1936), relatives (1950), and a work of art.

Biographical/Historical Note

Carl Milles was a sculptor. His wife, Olga, was also an artist. Milles was born in Lagga, Sweden, the son of Major Emil ("Mille") Andersson. He derived his name from the inversion of his father's nickname "Milles (Mille's) Carl". He was apprenticed to a cabinetmaker and studied for 3 years at the Technical School in Stockholm, during which time he befriended sculptor John Borjeson. Between 1897 and 1900, Milles studied at the Ecole des Beaux Arts. While in Paris, he met artist Olga Granner, whom he married in 1905. In 1902, Milles gained recognition in Sweden with his design for the Sten Sture monument. Milles also studied at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan and became a citizen of the United States in 1945.


The donor, Margueritte E. Kimball, was charged with clearing out and photographing the Milles' house and studio at Cranbrook in the early 1950s.

Language Note

Granner family letters are in German. Letters from Rutenskold and Carl and Olga Milles are in Swedish.

How to Use This Collection

Alternative Forms Available

35mm microfilm reel 4314 available for use at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.

Restrictions on Access

Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Microfilmed materials must be consulted on microfilm. Contact Reference Services for more information.

How to Cite This Collection

Carl and Olga Milles papers, 1933-1951. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.