About This Artwork

Edgar Miller
American, born 1899

Chickens, 1933

Gouache with incising and fingerprints, on masonite, prepared with a white ground
509 x 609 mm

Watson F. Blair Purchase Prize, 1934.143

Attending the SAIC before and after the First World War, Miller described himself as “conspicuously absent—I wasn’t a good student.” Yet Miller continued to develop his artistic abilities, working in a variety of media such as sculpture, stained glass, painting, woodcarving, and tile. Despite this versatility, however, Miller wrote in 1936 that he was “just barely beginning to find [himself].” This painting was awarded the Watson F. Blair Purchase Prize in 1934 at the 13th Exhibition of Watercolors, Pastels, Drawings, and Monotypes, and the work entered the Art Institute’s collection. Chicago Tribune art critic Eleanor Jewett described this work in her exhibition review as an “Impression-istic Easter card.”

— Exhibition label, Homegrown: The School of the Art Institute in the Permanent Collection, October 17, 2015–February 14, 2016, Galleries 124–127.

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