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Finding aid to the Christian William (Bill) Miller photographs and papers, 1886-1989 Coll2012.003
Coll2012.003  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Scope and Contents
  • Biography
  • Separated materials
  • Arrangement
  • Related Archival Materials
  • Preferred Citation
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Processing Information

  • Title: Christian William (Bill) Miller photographs and papers
    Identifier/Call Number: Coll2012.003
    Contributing Institution: ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 49.2 linear feet. 30 photograph binder boxes + 9 flat archive boxes + 6 records boxes + 3 archive cartons + 1 mapcase drawer.
    Date (inclusive): 1886-1989
    Abstract: The collection comprises the photographs, papers, and artwork created, inspired, or collected by Christian William Miller, 1886-1989. As an avid photographer and model, Miller moved through the New York gay social scene of the 1940s and 1950s, interacting with noted gay artists. The bulk of the collection consists of photographs documenting this social life as well as his travels, activities, family, and friends.
    creator: Miller, Christian William (Bill), 1921-1995

    Scope and Contents

    The collection comprises the photographs, papers, and artwork created, inspired, or otherwise collected by Christian William Miller, 1886-1989. The photographs document his travels in Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean; his beach and social life, especially in and around Fire Island, New York; the Sunstone estate in Reading, Vermont; and St. Croix; nudes of Miller and others; and general images of friends and family. Images include those of Gore Vidal, Monroe Wheeler, Glenway Wescott, and Somerset Maugham. Formats include photographic prints, negatives, contact strips and sheets, and 35mm slides.
    The papers consist of Miller's correspondence and personal papers. The bulk of the letters are between Miller and his mother, but also comprise letters to friends and lovers, including correspondence with George Hoyningen-Huene, W.H. Auden, Glenway Wescott, Paul Cadmus, Noel Coward, and George Gallowhur. The personal papers contain various documents pertaining to his family, work, military service, modeling, education, and travel. The artwork consists primarily of Miller's drawings and sketches, but also comprises pieces done with Miller as the subject, including a sculpture of his head.

    Biography

    Christian William Miller was born William Henry Miller on August 7, 1921, in Newark, New Jersey. Miller attended the Franklin School of Professional Arts in New York City from 1938-1941, majoring in advertising design. From 1939-1941 he began his career in design with stints at Datzenbach & Warren, Brunschwig & Fils, and Lord & Taylor. During the years 1942-1946, Miller was enlisted in the United States Maritime Service Coast Guard Reserve. He was assigned to a research project in 1942 by the Air-Sea Agency, helping to design a device to make sea water drinkable. Miller also designed an inflatable chair that is now in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York. In May 1951, Miller officially changed his name to Christian William Miller.
    Miller was known in the 1940's New York gay social scene as being one of the most beautiful men in the world. This status made him the acquaintance, companion, and occasional model and muse of such luminaries as George Platt Lynes, Paul Cadmus, W. H. Auden, Somerset Maugham, Alfred Kinsey, Glenway Wescott, Monroe Wheeler, Noel Coward, Philip Wheelwright, and George Hoyningen-Huene. As an avid photographer himself, he extensively documented his social life and travels around the world. Miller died on July 5, 1995.

    Separated materials

    Separated to the ONE Archives journal and pamphlet collections: Athletic Model Guild, Bulletin 50 (February 1, 1956); Colt catalog no. 4; and Lover Boy, Issue 1.

    Arrangement

    The collection is arranged in the following series:

    Related Archival Materials

    Christian William Miller Papers. Yale Collection of American Literature, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library.

    Preferred Citation

    Box #, folder #, Christian William (Bill) Miller photographs and papers, Coll2012-003, ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, Los Angeles, California

    Access

    The collection is open to researchers. There are no access restrictions.

    Publication Rights

    Researchers wishing to publish material must obtain permission in writing from ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives as the physical owner of the material. Note that permission to publish does not constitute copyright clearance. ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives can grant copyright clearance only for those materials for which we hold copyright. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain copyright clearance for all other materials from the copyright holder(s).

    Processing Information

    Processing this collection has been funded by a generous grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
    Collection processed by Phillip Garcia and Kyle Morgan, January 2012.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Gay artists
    Gay men--New York (State)--New York
    Gays--Travel
    Male models