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Oral history interview with Dorothy C. Miller, 1970 May 26-1971 Sept. 28

Oral history interview with Dorothy C. Miller, 1970 May 26-1971 Sept. 28

Miller, Dorothy Canning, 1904-2003

Curator

Collection Information

Size: Transcript: 260 p.

18 sound files (20 hrs., 42 min.) digital, wav

Format: Originally recorded on 10 sound tape reel. Reformated in 2010 as 18 digital wav files. Duration is 20 hrs., 42 min.

Summary: An interview of Dorothy Miller conducted 1970 May 26-1971 Sept. 28, by Paul Cummings, for the Archives of American Art.

Miller speaks of her childhood and family background; the beginning of her career in museums; her first trip to Europe; the Depression and its effect on the art world; the establishment of the WPA Federal Art Project; the scandal over the Diego Rivera mural in Rockefeller Center; getting started with the Museum of Modern Art in its early years; working with Alfred Barr; early exhibitions at the MOMA; meeting Mark Tobey and Morris Graves; meeting Holger Cahill; Cahill's background; Cahill's involvement with the WPA Federal Art Project, and the Project's early years; post-war changes in American art and the post-war years at the MOMA; Shaker design; some of her colleagues at the MOMA.

She recalls Duncan Phillips, Rene D'Harnoncourt, Jackson Pollock, Edward M.M. Warburg, Nelson Rockefeller, Mark Rothko, Louise Nevelson, Alexander Calder, Lyonel Feininger, Walker Evans, and Edwin Dickinson.

Biographical/Historical Note

Dorothy C. Miller (1904-2003) was an art museum curator from New York, N.Y.

Provenance

These interviews are part of the Archives' Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and others.

Transcript: microfilm reel 4210-4211 available at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.

Transcript: Available on microfilm.

Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Dorothy C. Miller, 1970 May 26-1971 Sept. 28. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.