A Look at the Life of Chicago’s Most Prolific Artist
Edgar Miller (1899-1993) was a self-taught and apprenticeship-trained artist and master craftsman—a creative virtuoso of the modern era—who applied his skills to a multitude of projects in interior design, decorative arts and architecture. This talk will explore Miller’s incredible life story, his close personal and professional relationships, and his lifelong pursuit of a universal artistic philosophy.
Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington St.
Thursday, March 23rd, 6:00pm
(Author & Publisher, CityFiles Press)
Richard Cahan is a journalist who writes about photography, art, and history. He worked for the Chicago Sun-Times from 1983 to 1999, primarily serving as the paper’s picture editor. He left to found and direct CITY2000, a project that documented Chicago in the year 2000. Since then, he has authored and co-authored more than a dozen books, including Edgar Miller and the Handmade Home (2009). His most recent book, written with Michael Williams, is Un-American: The Incarceration of Japanese Americans During World War II (2016). He also works as a curator, creating photo and exhibitions at Chicago museums.
(Artist & Archivist, Larry Zgoda Studio)
Larry Zgoda has worked in stained glass as a designer, crafter and innovator for over forty years. His interests have drawn him into select pursuits in architecture, furniture, painting and sculpture. In the early 1980s he befriended Edgar Miller through a long distance written correspondence and later was instrumental in Miller’s return to Chicago and his personal renaissance. During this time, Zgoda fabricated at least twenty-five Miller stained glass designs, most of which have a special collaborative quality.
(Career Artist, Portrait painter, and Instructor of Painting and Drawing)
Bob Horn worked on two Edgar Miller buildings for 34 years, removing ornamentation, repairing structural building concerns, repairing and replacing ornamentation and often creating new, with the emphasis on preserving Edgar Miller’s design sensibility and philosophy.
Worked side by side with Edgar Miller creating new works at both 155 w. Burton and 1734 n. Wells for the last ten years of Edgar’s life.
(Executive Director, Edgar Miller Legacy)
Zac Bleicher founded Edgar Miller Legacy in 2014 with the mission to preserve the late 20th century artist Edgar Miller’s artistic and architectural works; to advance the historical research of the artist’s accomplishments; and to build programs for the public to access and learn from Miller’s inspirational aesthetic. Bleicher’s interest in Miller and his art began through his late uncle, Mark Mamolen, a preservationist who helped rehabilitate Miller’s architectural masterpieces in Chicago. As part of his role within Edgar Miller Legacy, Bleicher continues to manage the growing archive of Miller’s work and history and to find new ways to tell Miller’s story. Bleicher has a BA in American History, Art History, and Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania, and an MBA from the University of Illinois-Chicago.
Chicago's Forgotten Renaissance Man
Edgar Miller Legacy—with the support of The Terra Foundation—organized a series of lectures reintroducing Chicago to its forgotten artistic master, Edgar Miller. Visit the digital archive of interactive media, images, and other lecture materials.