Edgar Miller,
The Designer

A Pioneer of Art in Modern Design


Edgar Miller (1899-1993) was a self-taught and apprenticeship trained artist and master craftsman—a true “Renaissance Man”of the modern era who lent his skills to a multitude of projects in advertising, packaging, interiors and architecture. This talk will summarize Miller’s wide range of artistic accomplishments and will explore in-depth his work in various fields of design.

Chicago Design Museum
Thursday, January 26th, 6:00pm



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Alison Fisher, PhD

(Harold and Margot Schiff Associate Curator, Department of Architecture and Design, Art Institute of Chicago)

Alison Fisher’s focus is on the Art Institute’s historic architecture holdings from 1850 to 1945, overseeing the architectural drawings, models, and archives of many of America’s most important architects. Her education in the history of architecture and art has equipped her with an extensive understanding of the modern period across different media, geographies, and histories, with a special focus on the architecture and urbanism of Chicago and Paris. Dr. Fisher earned her PhD in Art and Architectural History at Northwestern University.


Jonathan Mekinda, PhD

(Assistant Professor of Design History, University of Illinois at Chicago)

Jonathan Mekinda is a historian of modern architecture and design and an Assistant Professor with a joint appointment in the Department of Art History and the School of Design at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Professor Mekinda’s research focuses on the history of architecture and design during the middle decades of the twentieth century, particularly in Italy and the United States. Dr. Mekinda earned his PhD in the History of Art at University of Pennsylvania.


Eric Rogers

(Freelance Photographer & Program Coordinator for Open House Chicago at Chicago Architecture Foundation) 

By day, Eric Rogers coordinates one of Chicago’s most popular annual architectural tour programs, Chicago Architecture Foundation’s Open House Chicago. Off the clock, he is an amateur historian of architecture and an emerging talent in architectural photography. Mr. Rogers’ opinions are his own, and are by no means meant to be tried at home. He has an AM in Social Sciences and BA in Political Science from The University of Chicago.


Zac Bleicher

(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.