: Studio portrait of Elis F. Miller, ca. 1870. Miller was born in Canton, Ohio, on October 15, 1840. As a child, both he and his sister Mary Emily sketched and painted. In 1862, Miller joined Company B of the 15th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry as a musician. When he was mustered out in 1865, Miller went to Columbus, where his mother, Harriet J. Miller, sister “Emily,” and Emily’s husband had moved the previous year.
During the early years of his career Miller worked as a photographer to support himself. He continued drawing and primarily worked as a landscape artist, traveling to southern Ohio, West Virginia, and the Lake Erie Islands. These sketches were later used as the basis of his watercolors and etchings.
Miller specialized in watercolors and won ten “best” awards at the Ohio State Fair between 1875 and 1881. He exhibited two landscapes at the Philadelphia Exposition in 1876 and made a name for himself with his landscape work in etchings. He used a new European process of the time called “cliché verre,” in which glass photographic plates coated with emulsion were etched with a fine needle. Miller then exposed the plates in the sun next to light-sensitive paper to create the final piece of art. Although Miller’s work was appreciated in Columbus, it was not until the 1880s that it was recognized by East Coast art circles. Today Miller’s work can be found at the Smithsonian, the Cleveland Museum of Art and the Columbus Museum of Art. He died of tubercular meningitis on March 20, 1884. View on Ohio Memory.
: P385_B06F01_001_001 Subjects
: Artists--Ohio; Civil War; Cultural Ohio--Art and Artists; Miller, Elis, 1840-1884; Photography--Ohio--History--19th century; Places
: Columbus (Ohio); Franklin County (Ohio)