Tuesday Art ATTACK- Barse Miller “Apparition Over Los Angeles”

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Barse Miller was born in New York on January 24, 1904 to well-known outdoors man Warren Hastings Miller and painter Susan Barse Miller. From a young age his Father pushed him to be an adventurer always taking him hunting and camping. Miller was more attracted to painting and decided when he was still a boy he wanted to be an artist. When he turned sixteen he enrolled in the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts to hone his skill and won two scholarships to study and travel Europe for two years. When Miller returned home in 1924 he moved to Los Angeles, California and instantly became popular for his style. He had a very active career in 1930s to 1940s painting murals for the WPA and being one of the main battlefield artists for the US Army during World War II. Throughout the rest of his life his work remained in demand. He passed away in 1973. This well-known painting, “Apparition over Los Angeles”, caused quite the controversy when it was created in 1932. Miller was known for humor in his work and the painting was a parody of the Four-Square Church in Echo Park, Los Angeles. The main focus in the composition is the Churches founder Sister Aimee McPherson surrounded by money grabbing angels that represented the Four Square Church taking advantage of its followers. The Four Square Church did not like the joke and sued the Los Angeles Museum to take it out of its exhibition.

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