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Edward Millman Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: ASE
Date: 1993-09-28

Biographical History

Edward Millman was born in Chicago on January 1st, 1907 and died in Woodstock, NY on February 11, 1964. He was a painter, muralist, educator and lecturer. He studied at the Chicago Art School under Leon Knoll during the years 1923-1928, and then later was taught privately in Mexico City by Diego Rivera, where he studied fresco painting, between the years 1934-1935. He won the Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship in 1945 and the Ohio University First Prize in 1952. He taught at a number of major universities throughout the United States, starting with the Florida Gulf Coast Art Center, Inc. in 1951 and working finally at Renssalaer Polytechnic Institute from 1956 until his death.

Source: Cummings, Paul. Dictionary of Contemporary American Artists, 3rd ed. St. Martin's Press, New York, 1977.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

Spanning 1921 to 1969, the Edward Millman Papers comprises biographical material, family, personal and business correspondence, artwork, writings, and memorabilia of the Chicago-born artist (1907-1964). In addition to documenting Millman's role as mural painter for the Federal Art Project, combat artist for the United States Navy during World War II, and artist-in-residence at numerous academic institutions, the collection illuminates the artistic versatility of the Jewish-American muralist, painter, and educator.

Arranged alphabetically, the Correspondence-subject files (Boxes 1-3) consists of incoming and outgoing letters, legal contracts, museum receipts and acceptances, photographs, recommendations, and sales records. A number of letters are addressed to Millman's wife, Norma, including sympathy cards an his passing. Among Millman's correspondents are fellow artists (Charles Baskerville, Aaron Bohrod, Ilya Bolotowsky, Ralston Crawford, Bruce Currie, David Durst, Philip Clarkson Elliott, Richard A. Florsheim, B. Sturtevant Gardner, John Anthony Hartell, Norbert Leo Heermann, Kenneth Eugene Hudson, Dwight Kirsch, Amy Freeman Lee, Beatrice S. Levy, Edmund D. Lewandowski, Margaret Lowengrund, Fletcher Martin, Reginald H. Neal, John O'Neil, William C. Palmer, Stuart R. Purser, Florine Rensie, George Warren Rickey, Mitchell Siporin, David Smith, Prentiss Taylor, Howard Thomas, Dorothy Varian, Ralph Lewanda Wickiser, Denny Winters); as well as art galleries and museums (Alan Gallery, Albany Institute of History and Art, Albright Art Gallery, Art Institute of Chicago, Associated American Artists Galleries, Butler Institute of American Art, Downtown Gallery, Florida Gulf Coast Art Center, Herron Museum of Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Munson-Williams-Proctor Institute, Museum of Modern Art, Nordness Gallery, Rudolph Galleries). Other correspondence relates to Millman's relationship with clients (Chrysler Corporation, Contemporary Design, Inc., Fortune, Foster Grant Co., Inc., Gimbel Pennsylvania Art Collection, Glencoe, Illinois, United States Navy, United States Treasury Department); and educational institutions (Brandeis University, Colgate University, Cornell University, Eastern Illinois State College, Florida State University, Indiana University, Layton School of Art, Louisiana State University, Ohio University, Purdue University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Southern Illinois University, Southwestern Louisiana Institute, and Universities of Arkansas, Buffalo, Chattanooga, Florida, Georgia, Kansas City, Wisconsin, and Wyoming).

Artwork (Boxes 4-6) encompasses material pertaining to Federal Art Project murals, Gimbel Pennsylvania Art Collection, restaurant murals, United States Navy combat paintings, and miscellaneous subjects. Photographs and negatives of murals produced for the Federal Art Project include those for buildings in Illinois (Chicago's City Hall and Lucy Flower Technical High School, Decatur Post Office, and Moline Post Office), as well as the St. Louis Post Office in Missouri. Millman's contribution to the Gimbel Pennsylvania Art Collection is recorded by research material (photographs of steel mills), original sketches, and photographs of finished paintings. Various stages of completion of restaurant murals painted by Millman are documented by photographs and negatives. United States Navy combat art is represented by one sketchbook, original sketches, and photographs of finished paintings arranged in numerical sequence. Miscellaneous artwork is comprised of original Florida wash drawings, 10 lithographic proofs, 12 sketchbook pages, 2 sketchbooks, and pencil and ink sketches. Photographs of miscellaneous paintings are arranged by title when available.

Titled and untitled Statements on art constitute Writings (Box 6). Titled pieces include course descriptions, essays, and exhibition press releases. Artwork descriptions, combat Journal entries, and miscellaneous drafts and fragments are among untitled works.

Memorabilia (Boxes 6-7) comprises address lists, financial material, a lecture tour itinerary, lists of artwork (partially annotated with prices), miscellaneous research references, photographs, printed material, unidentified artwork and reproductions, and an essay by Arthur Siegel. European trip receipts, income tax documentation, and miscellaneous receipts constitute financial material. Photographs include those of Millman, as well as teaching-related subjects and a number of unidentified artist portraits. Printed material contains newspaper clippings about Millman (1933-1964) and several exhibition catalogs and announcements (1936-1953).

Arrangement of the Collection

Correspondence - subject files is organized alphabetically by name of the institution or person. Artwork is divided into five sections: the Federal Art Project, the Gimbel Pennsylvania Art Collection, restaurant murals, navy sketches, and miscellaneous. Artwork is separated into originals and photographs of originals, and is ordered by type (sketches, drawings, lithographs) or title, where applicable. Writings includes a section on statements on art and miscellaneous. Statements on art is divided into titled and untitled. Writings is organized alphabetically by the name of the artwork being described (when available) or by a descriptive title in the case of untitled works. Memorabilia is also organized alphabetically by type of material.


Access Restrictions:

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions:

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Subject Headings


Bohrod, Aaron.
Bolotowsky, Ilya, 1907-1981.
Crawford, Ralston, 1906-1978.
Florsheim, Richard A., 1916-1979.
Heermann, Norbert.
Hudson, Kenneth Eugene.
Lee, Amy Freeman.
Lewandowski, Edmund.
Martin, Fletcher, 1904-1979.
Millman, Edward, 1907-1964.
Neal, Reginald, 1909-
Palmer, William C., 1906-1987.
Purser, Stuart R., 1907-1986.
Rickey, George.
Siporin, Mitchell, 1910-1976.
Smith, David, 1906-1965.
Taylor, Prentiss, 1907-1991.
Wickiser, Ralph L. (Ralph Lewanda), 1910-1998.

Corporate Bodies

Federal Art Project.


Art and state -- United States.
Art, American -- 20th century.
Federal aid to the arts -- United States.
Jewish artists -- United States.
Jews, American.
Mural painting and decoration -- United States -- 20th century.
Painters -- United States.
Painting, American -- 20th century.
Steel-works in art.
World War, 1939-1945 -- Art and the war.

Genres and Forms

Clippings (information artifacts)
Exhibition catalogs.



Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Edward Millman Papers
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Mrs. Norma Millman, 1977.

Table of Contents

Biographical material

Family correspondence

Correspondence-subject files