Arthur Millier Archive

Finding aid prepared by Sara Chetney, MA
Special Collections, Honnold/Mudd Library
800 North Dartmouth Ave
Claremont 91711
© 2018
Claremont University Consortium. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Arthur Millier Archive
Dates: 1921 - 1975
Collection number: H.Mss.1100
Creator: Millier, Arthur Henry Thomas
Extent: 2.25 Linear Feet (1 records box, 2 document boxes, 1 slim document box)
Repository: Claremont Colleges. Library. Special Collections, Honnold/Mudd Library. Claremont, CA 91711
Abstract: This collection contains materials relating to Arthur Henry Thomas Millier, Los Angeles Times art critic, and his family. Highly active in the early twentieth century Los Angeles art scene, Millier was responsible for helping to establish the reputations of California artists such as Emil Kosa and Millard Sheets, among others. This archive contains correspondence, photographs, scrapbooks, diaries, and other personal materials from the Millier family. Items of note include original etchings by Millier, extensive correspondence with the family of the famous opera singer Lawrence Tibbett, and a program from the funeral of the artist Millard Sheets.
Physical Location: Please consult repository.
Language of Material: Languages represented in the collection: English, French.

Administrative Information


Collection open for research.

Publication Rights

All requests for permission to reproduce or to publish must be submitted in writing to Special Collections.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item]. Arthur Millier archive (H.Mss. 1100). Special Collections, The Claremont Colleges Library, Claremont, California.

Provenance / Source of Acquisition

Purchased from Walkabout Books, 2018.


No additions to the collection are anticipated.

Processing Information

Materials were placed in chronological order, letters were removed from their envelopes, unfolded, and placed in archival paper slings. Items were housed in archival folders and boxes.

Biography / Administrative History

Arthur Henry Thomas Millier (1893-1975) was a noted printmaker and art critic who helped bring national recognition to many emerging California artists in the first half of the twentieth century. Born in England, he moved with his parents to California as a teenager, attended Los Angeles High School, and continued his studies at the Los Angeles Art Students' League. He served in France in World War I, and afterward settled for a time in San Francisco, where he studied at the California School of Fine Arts, worked as a designer at the Schmidt Lithograph Company, and honed his skills as a printmaker. His early etchings focused on street scenes and urban life in San Francisco, but his interest soon turned to the California landscapes for which he would become best known. He had his first solo exhibition in 1922. Over the years, he received several awards for etching, and today his prints are included in the permanent collections of such major institutions as the Los Angeles County Museum and the Art Institute of Chicago.
In 1922, Millier returned to Los Angeles and taught at the Chouinard Art Institute, Otis Art Institute, the University of Southern California, and the Pasadena Art Institute. In 1926, he became the art critic at the Los Angeles Times, where he would remain for more than three decades. From this position of influence, Millier was among the first to promote the growth of regional California art. His association with the California Scene Painters helped to establish the national reputations of such California artists as Emil Kosa, Phil Dike, Millard Sheets, Barse Miller, and Rex Brandt. He was also very sympathetic to work by members of the Los Angeles’ newly emerging modern art scene. He was friends with Edward Weston, Merle Armitage, Jake Zeitlin, Will Connell, Frank Lloyd Wright, R.M. Schindler, Richard Neutra, and other members of the Los Angeles’ avant-garde, and was a frequent champion of their work in his weekly reviews.
Millier’s art criticism was always respected, and he is frequently quoted in scholarly literature on the development of the California art scene, as well as the broader world of twentieth century art and design. Relatively little is known about Millier personally, and this archive contributes much to the body of knowledge about Millier’s life and family.
Biographical information provided by Walkabout Books, Laguna Hills, CA.

Scope and Content

This collection contains the personal papers of Arthur Millier and his family. Materials include extensive correspondence to Millier and his wife Francine, family photographs, photo albums, scrapbooks, diaries, and original art by Millier and his friends. It also contains miscellaneous ephemera, such as invitations to art shows, magazines, muscial scores, and programs. Items of note include correspondence from the composer Hugo Friedhofer, Arthur and Francine Millier's diaries, correspondence from their son Arthur Jr. ("Artie") during his service in World War II, and Millier's original etchings, and extensive correspondence from opera singer Lawrence Tibbett's wife Grace, including one letter from Tibbett himself.

Organization and Arrangement

Materials in this collection has been arranged by type, then chronologically within each type.

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library’s online public access catalog.

Subject Terms

Art criticism
Los Angeles (Calif.)
Tibbett, Lawrence, 1896-1960
United States. Army
World War, 1939-1945

Genre and Form of Materials

Photograph albums

Box 1, Folder 1

Art, etchings, various artists 1931 and undated

Box 1, Folder 2

Article on Lawrence Tibbett by Millier (Arthur) undated

Box 1, Folder 3

Correspondence, announcements and cards 1926-1958 and undated

Box 1, Folder 4

Correspondence, Friedhofer (Hugo) to Millier (Arthur) 1921-1928 and undated

Box 1, Folder 5

Correspondence, Millier (Arthur) 1921-1927

Box 1, Folder 6

Correspondence, Millier (Arthur) 1935-1954 and undated

Box 1, Folder 7

Correspondence, Millier (Arthur Jr. and Barbara) to Millier (Arthur and Francine) 1944 Jan 7 - 1944 Mar 21

Box 1, Folder 8

Correspondence, Millier (Arthur Jr. and Barbara) to Millier (Arthur and Francine) 1944 Mar 26 - 1944 May 23

Box 1, Folder 9

Correspondence, Millier (Arthur Jr. and Barbara) to Millier (Arthur and Francine) 1944 May 25 - 1944 Jul 22

Box 1, Folder 10

Correspondence, Millier (Arthur Jr. and Barbara) to Millier (Arthur and Francine) 1944 Aug 13 - 1944 Dec 22

Box 1, Folder 11

Correspondence, Millier (Arthur Jr. and Barbara) to Millier (Arthur and Francine) 1945 Jan 15 and undated

Box 1, Folder 12

Correspondence, Millier (David), Kenyon College 1946-1948

Box 1, Folder 13

Correspondence, Millier family 1919-1940 and undated

Box 1, Folder 14

Correspondence, Millier (Francine) 1923-1944

Box 1, Folder 15

Correspondence, Millier (Francine) undated

Box 1, Folder 16

Correspondence, Millier, Miscellaneous 1923-1977 and undated

Box 1, Folder 17

Correspondence, Tibbett to Millier 1923 Mar 26 - 1923 Nov 10


Contains a letter written by Lawrence Tibbett dated 1923 March 26. The majority of the correspondence in this collection was written by his wife Grace Tibbett.
Box 1, Folder 18

Correspondence, Tibbett to Millier 1923 Nov 15 - 1923 Dec 21

Box 1, Folder 19

Correspondence, Tibbett to Millier 1924 Jan - 1924 Feb

Box 1, Folder 20

Correspondence, Tibbett to Millier 1924 Mar - 1924 Dec

Box 1, Folder 21

Correspondence, Tibbett to Millier 1925

Box 1, Folder 22

Correspondence, Tibbett to Millier 1926 Jan 5 - 1926 Feb 12

Box 1, Folder 23

Correspondence, Tibbett to Millier 1926 Feb 14 - 1926 Dec 9

Box 1, Folder 24

Correspondence, Tibbett to Millier 1927-1934

Box 1, Folder 25

Correspondence, Tibbett to Millier (1 of 3) undated

Box 1, Folder 26

Correspondence, Tibbett to Millier (2 of 3) undated

Box 1, Folder 27

Correspondence, Tibbett to Millier (3 of 3) undated

Box 1, Folder 28

Correspondence, Smith/Lloyd (Claire) 1921-1925 and undated

Box 4, Envelope 1

Ephemera, advertisement for Tibbett record undated

Box 1, Folder 29

Ephemera, magazines, "Scripts" 1939 Dec 9

Box 1, Folder 30

Ephemera, programs 1923-1989 and undated

Box 1, Folder 31

Ephemera, sheet music 1917-1933 and undated

Box 1, Folder 32

Journal, Arthur Millier 1919 or 1920

Box 1, Folder 33

Journal, Francine Millier 1925-1934

Box 3, Folder 1

Photo album, Millier family undated

Box 3, Folder 2

Photo album, Mojave Millier's wedding 1949 Feb 6

Box 3, Folder 3

Photo album, Mojave Millier's wedding, items laid in (1 of 3) 1956 Jul 28 and undated

Box 3, Folder 4

Photo album, Mojave Millier's wedding, items laid in (2 of 3) 1957 Jul 1 and undated

Box 3, Folder 5

Photo album, Mojave Millier's wedding, items laid in (3 of 3) undated

Box 2, Folder 1

Photographs, "Artie and Barb" 1944

Box 2, Folder 2

Photographs, friends and family (1 of 6)

Box 2, Folder 3

Photographs, friends and family (2 of 6)

Box 2, Folder 4

Photographs, friends and family (3 of 6)

Box 2, Folder 5

Photographs, friends and family (4 of 6)

Box 2, Folder 6

Photographs, friends and family (5 of 6)

Box 2, Folder 7

Photographs, friends and family (6 of 6)

Box 2, Folder 8

Photographs, "Mother's Friend Early" 1975

Box 2, Folder 9

Photographs, Mojave Millier's children 1954

Box 4, Folder 1

Scrapbook, announcements and correspondence 1925-1958 and undated

Box 4, Folder 2

Scrapbook, Millier family and friends 1924-1952 and undated