Brock & Co.

Kenneth Hayes Miller (1876 - 1952)
Reverie, 1943
Oil on canvas
51 x 66 inches
signed and dated at lower right: Kenneth Hayes Miller 1943
Art Students League, New York, 1953
Ada S. Garrett Prize, Art Institute of Chicago, 1945
Lincoln Rothschild, To Keep Art Alive, The Effort of Kenneth Hayes Miller, American Painter (1876-1952), illus., fig. 89
Kenneth Hayes Miller moved to a studio on Fourteenth Street in 1923, a change which was to profoundly transform his painting style. Whereas Miller’s early work could best be described as mystical in nature -- exhibiting the influence of Albert Pinkham Ryder -- his move to Fourteenth Street afforded him daily exposure to the shoppers and other ordinary women that would occupy him for the remainder of his career. The present work evinces Miller pursuing this fresh painting style and subject matter.

Present-day critic Hilton Kramer has described Miller as “a chronicler of a particular social scene” (the consumer class), making him, in effect, an “unpolitical social realist” [New York Times, March 11, 1979].

Scholar Lloyd Goodrich remembered Miller as “one of the most influential of our art teachers,” who must have transmitted the enthusiasm he had for his subject matter on to his students. Among this illustrious group, several -- Isabel Bishop, Edward Hopper, Reginald Marsh, and George Bellows among them – chose to paint urban themes analogous to those Miller favored.