Past Programs & Workshops


Public Program Series | A Lost Chapter Read Anew: 
The Visionary Art & Design of Edgar Miller



Edgar Miller Legacy is proud to offer partner programming with the Chicago Architecture Biennial. Edgar Miller Legacy, in partnership with AIA Chicago, offers three distinct workshops and tours held at the Kogen-Miller Studios featuring special guest lecturers who will speak to different aspects of Miller’s architectural achievements and how they relate to the wider world of architectural history, decorative arts, and community building. All workshops qualify for AIA Continued Education System credits, and include an in-depth tour of Edgar Miller’s Glasner Studio led by Edgar Miller Legacy Executive Director, Zac Bleicher.


SEPTEMBER 23, 2017  (3LUs)

Edgar Miller, Architecture and the Decorative Arts

Presented by Robert Bruegmann PhD

Robert is a historian and critic of the built environment and since 1979 has been at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he is currently Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Art History, Architecture and Urban Planning.

This session will consider Edgar's work in the context of contemporary practice in the United States and Europe, addressing the break down of the professional barriers separating architects, artists and artisans in order to create integrated environments.


OCTOBER 21, 2017  (3LUs)

Edgar Miller and the Legacy of Arts & Crafts            

Presented by Michelangelo Sabatino, PhD

Michelangelo is an architect and historian whose research broadly addresses intersections between culture, technology, and design in the built environment.  He is professor and director of the PhD Program at the Illinois Institute of Technology College of Architecture and serves as the Interim Dean at the College of Architecture.

This session will consider Miller’s contribution to the built environment of Chicago and how his work is situated in the context of Arts & Crafts in the Americas and Europe.


NOVEMBER 18, 2017  (3LUs)

Art, Architecture, and Community, and the Right to the City              

Presented by Lisa Yun Lee, PhD

Lisa is Director of the National Public Housing Museum and the previous Director of the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum. She is a member of the Art History and Gender and Women's Studies faculty at UIC, and a Presidential Fellow. 

This session will consider the relationship between community-based social movements and architecture, art and the built environment and how art, design and architecture foster inclusivity and the people's right to the city.


About the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial

The Chicago Architecture Biennial’s mission is to provide a platform for groundbreaking architectural projects and spatial experiments that demonstrate how creativity and innovation can radically transform our lived experience. Through its constellation of exhibitions, full-scale installations and programming, the Chicago Architecture Biennial invites the public to engage with and think about architecture in new and unexpected ways, and to take part in a global discussion on the future of the field.


Residency Performance at the Glasner Studio 


Artist in Residence - Ty Maxon

Following on the successful pilot program of our artist-in-residence series in 2017, Edgar Miller Legacy will continue to cultivate local up-and-coming artists through first-hand access to the inspirational space at Edgar Miller’s Glasner Studio. We’re excited to announce our Spring 2018 artist-in-residence: musician, composer & visual artist Ty Maxon. 

Ty is a Michigan native but now calls Chicago home. He has been featured on NPR's “The Morning Shift” and has recorded an acclaimed “Daytrotter” session; he also published his first original coloring book in 2016. Over the course of his residence, Ty will work on new music and art at the Glasner Studio. An intimate, private performance to showcase Maxon's work was held on Saturday, April 28th, 2018.

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Artist-in-Residence: Composer Elliot Bergman

Please join us at Edgar Miller Legacy for a special performance of new musical works by the composer and multi-instrumentalist Elliot Bergman, on Saturday, November 4th. 
Elliot will be the second artist to partake in our ongoing Glasner Studio Residency Program, which invites Chicago-based artists to draw inspiration from Edgar Miller's masterwork of art, design, and architecture. As awareness of Miller's work grows, Edgar Miller Legacy helps keep his spirit of ingenuity and creativity alive through residency projects in these spaces.

Edgar Miller Legacy and Iannelli Studios

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Edgar Miller Discussion and Exhibition

Location: Iannelli Studios Heritage Center, 255 N Northwest Hwy, Park Ridge IL60068
Date: Sunday, April 23rd, 2017 @ 1pm

Speakers: Zac Bleicher, Executive Director, Edgar Miller Legacy
Eric O'Malley, Co-founder PrairieMod and the Organic Architecture + Design Archives
Larry Zgoda, Artist, Larry Zgoda Studio 


Edgar Miller (1899-1993), the subject of the monograph Edgar Miller and the Handmade Home (2009) by Richard Cahan and Michael Williams, is more widely known today for his artistically rehabbed homes in Chicago’s Old Town neighborhood, but he was also an in-demand, nationally-acclaimed designer, illustrator, and decorative artist from the 1920s through the 1960s. Much of Miller’s attention to craftsmanship and pursuit of a multi-varied career can be traced back to his early employment in the studio of Alfonso Iannelli in the early 1920s. It was at Iannelli Studios where Miller took on his first serious projects in graphic design, illustration, sculptural execution, and stained glass design. Miller also made many contacts with professional architects of the day who went to Iannelli Studios for their decorative art installations. In the late 1920s, after Miller had gone on to pursue his own career, Iannelli, Miller, Ruth Blackwell, and Olive Rush teamed up to design and execute a series of windows for Barry Byrne’s Christ the King Church, in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

This panel discussion will focus on Miller’s work during his years at Iannelli Studios and, more generally, how his experience with Iannelli affected his later solo work during the 1920s and beyond. 

Several pieces of Miller’s work will be on display exclusively for this discussion.


Sponsored by Edgar Miller Legacy and Kalo Foundation



Edgar Miller Legacy, Terra Foundation, and our partners, present a five-part discussion series rediscovering the history and art of Chicago’s modern era “Renaissance Man” Edgar Miller. Each talk will feature a panel of experts from across Chicago’s varied industries in art, design, architecture and culture to bring to life the story of Chicago’s not-so-forgotten artistic genius, who believed in the philosophy of pursuing creativity every day, and was a master of the production of everyday art.



I: Edgar Miller, The Designer
A Pioneer of Art in Modern Design
Location: Chicago Design Museum, 108 N. State
Thursday, January 26th, 6:00pm

Zac Bleicher (Director - Edgar Miller Legacy)
Alison Fisher (Harold and Margot Schiff Associate Curator, Department of Architecture and Design, Art Institute of Chicago)
Jonathan Mekinda, PhD (Assistant Professor, Design History - UIC)
Eric Allix Rogers (Freelance Photographer & Program Coordinator for Open House Chicago, Chicago Architecture Foundation)


II: Edgar Miller, The Architect
The Radical and Transformative Architecture of Edgar Miller
Location: AIA Chicago, 35 E. Upper Wacker Dr.
Thursday, February 9th, 6:00pm

Zac Bleicher (Director - Edgar Miller Legacy)
Todd Palmer (Executive Director - Chicago Architecture Biennial)
Michaelangelo Sabatino, PhD (Professor and Director, PhD Program in Architecture, IIT College of Architecture)


III: Edgar Miller, The Artist
The Fine and Folk Art of Edgar Miller
Location: Arts Club of Chicago, 201 E. Ontario St.
Saturday, February 25th, 2:00pm

Zac Bleicher (Director - Edgar Miller Legacy)
Rolf Achilles (Assistant Professor, Historic Preservation - SAIC)
Lisa Stone (Curator, Roger Brown Study Collection - SAIC)
Wendy Greenhouse, PhD (Art Historian)



IV: Edgar Miller’s Times
The Interwar Cultural Context of Edgar Miller’s Artistry
Location: DePaul Art Museum, 935 W. Fullerton Ave.
Thursday, March 9th, 6:00pm

Zac Bleicher (Director - Edgar Miller Legacy)
Liesl Olson (Director - Chicago Studies, Newberry Library)
Robert Bruegmann (Architectural Historian & Author)




V: Edgar Miller, The Man
An Intimate Look at the Life of Chicago’s Most Prolific Artist
Location: Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington St.
Thursday, March 23rd, 6:00pm

Zac Bleicher (Director - Edgar Miller Legacy)
Richard Cahan (Author & Publisher - CityFiles)
Larry Zgoda (Artist & Archivist)
Bob Horn (Artist, Teacher, Conservationist)