Artist Biography

Thomas Oxley MILLER
1854 - 1909

Thomas Oxley Miller was born in Columbia, California on June 4, 1854. While growing up in the Mother Lode country, he developed a great love of nature. Inspired by the beauty of Yosemite and the surrounding area, at age twenty he decided to become an artist. He then moved to San Francisco where he was one of the first pupils to enroll at the School of Design. After four years there under Virgil Williams, he moved to Stockton and established a studio in the Hooks building. There he gave art lessons to daughters of the local pioneer families, among them Anita Galgiani whom he married in 1897. Miller also taught classes in Oakland on occasion where one of his pupils was artist Jimmy Swinnerton. He was a lifelong friend of William Keith whose works he greatly admired and with whom he often accompanied on camping and sketching trips. His pastoral scenes of the High Sierra and Mother Lode country are objective, peaceful, and realistically depicted. Many of his oils are signed simply “Miller.” A shy and retiring man, he seldom exhibited; however, his works were shown at the Chicago World's Fair in 1893. Miller died of a massive stroke at his Stockton home on November 6, 1909. The corpus of his work is held in the Haggin Museum in Stockton; he is also represented in the Hearst Art Gallery at St Mary's College in Moraga, CA.

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