Images of York Folk Artist Lewis Miller
Lewis Miller self-portrait as a young man.
My recent post pointed out that we don’t know a lot about Lewis Miller. We know of very few existing letters, and the captions on his many drawings mostly describe the other people and events that he observed. It is helpful that he occasionally included himself in the activities he depicted, so that we can see Lewis as a little boy up through manhood in his native York, as well as in his travels and at his later home with relatives in Virginia.
There are also a few existing photographs that show him in middle age and also much older. In fact, I discovered a few things about these photographs today.
The York County Heritage Trust Library/Archives has two cased photographs that used to be in a private Virginia collection. (See below.) The one of the older man was identified by the former owner as Lewis Miller. I just noticed that the initials L.M. are scratched on the upper left corner of the mat.
Lewis Miller photo as an older man.
The other photograph was identified by the former owner as Lewis’s older brother, Dr. Joseph Miller, who lived in Virginia for many years. That photo, however, is obviously from the same sitting as the one identified as Lewis Miller on the web site of the Montgomery Museum and Lewis Miller Regional Art Center in Christiansburg, Virginia, where Lewis spent his last years with Joseph’s family.
Middle-aged Lewis Miller
I think the middle-aged photos are indeed Lewis. His drawings of himself always had that distinctive bunch of hair standing up in a pompadour. I haven’t seen that in the few drawings he did of brother Joseph.