Sunday, June 29, 2008


Richard John Miller, age 85: sculptor, philosopher, bricoleur, decorated veteran (Distinguished Flying Cross), husband, great grandfather, 50 year resident of Hyde Park, teacher at the Art Academy of Cincinnati and Gephardt Art School. "It don't mean a thing, if it ain't got that swing". Private celebration planned for end of July - former students may contact: Works may be seen here. Frequent quotes may be found here.

(note: there has been some confusion regarding which medals RJ received for his WWII service - since my mother and brother can't remember much about it - and RJ was always very cynical about the military. But my cousin Doug, a film maker and history buff, interviewed him extensively on videotape, and Doug reports that RJ won the Distinguished Flying Cross with Oak Leaf Cluster - meaning that he won it twice. As RJ explained it -- guys like him got that medal just for surviving so many missions. His plane was the B-24 - also known as the "Flying Coffin" - and, indeed, one website reports that 13,624 airmen died just in training flights. He dismissed the entire European air campaign as having no effect on the German war effort - but he was quite proud of his technical mastery of the Norden bombsite for which he was recognized as the "master bombardier" who flew in the lead plane so that his decisions could be seen by bombardiers in all the planes that followed him in formation)

(note: the above piece,
entitled "War Memorial",
depicts a Valkyrie about to carry
a fallen warrior up to Valhalla.)

And here's Ella
preachin' the gospel


Blogger chris miller said...

Just saw this tribute from Brian Elig - the son of two of RJ's former students.

June 30, 2008  
Blogger Lori Witzel said...

Condolences -- sounds like a man who was suffused with life and art, who was blessed with a life fully lived.

July 05, 2008  
Blogger chris miller said...

Thankyou, Lori -- and yes, after he got back from the war, I don't think RJ ever spent a day not doing exactly what he wanted. (except for a few weeks every 5 years or so when he had to re-paint the house. But even then -- he would always custom mix some exciting colors)

July 05, 2008  
Blogger chris miller said...

Here's an even better obituary! (assembled by Tom Tsuchiya)

July 05, 2008  
Anonymous marly said...

The Elig might be the seed of a novel... The Tsuchiya collection is really touching.

Condolences, Chris--I go away for a while and everything changes.

July 22, 2008  

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