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HomeContents > People > Photographers > Lowell N. Miller

Born: Lowell Norman Miller 
Dates:  1914, 1 June - 1999, 5 August
Born:  US, KS, Wellington
Died:  US, AR, Bentonville

Preparing biographies

Approved biography for Lowell N. Miller
(Courtesy of Christian Peterson)

Lowell Norman Miller was born in Wellington, Kansas, on June 1, 1914. He earned a bachelorís degree in liberal arts in 1937 at Southwestern College (Winfield, Kansas) and later that year was hired by the Eastman Kodak Company, in Rochester, New York. Over the next few years, he took photography classes at the Rochester Institute of Technology.
Miller was a prolific exhibitor and deeply involved in organizing the Rochester International Salon of Photography. His first known showing was in 1939 at the annual exhibition of the Kodak Camera Club. Subsequently, his pictorial prints were accepted at salons around the country, including those in New York and Houston. In the 1951-52 season, 205 of his photographs were seen in seventy salons, ranking him fifth in the world.
Miller showed regularly in the Rochester salon from 1949 to 1960, including color slides in the mid-1950s. He served in a number of administrative roles for the salon, beginning in 1950, when he was a member of the pictorial committee. He went on to be that committeeís chair, the exhibits director, vice-president, and president in 1955. The next year, he was the judge chairman, choosing Minor White and another individual for the salonís pictorial print jury. In 1957, Miller became the salonís first designated historian, a title he held until 1967, a time when monochrome print salons were essentially a thing of the past.
Miller became a fellow of the Photographic Society of America (FPSA) and an associate member of the Royal Photographic Society (ARPS) in London. His work was reproduced in the American Annual of Photography in 1951 and 1953, one of them being a still life with glass objects, apparently a favorite subject of his. The instituteís print Zebra by Refraction demonstrates Millerís abilities at illuminating objects from the rear and using strong patterning. It is a prime example of the type of picture from around the middle of the century called "big, blue, and glossy," referring to the size of the print, its tone, and the print surface.
Miller retired from Eastman Kodak in mid-1979, after forty-two years of service. A few months later he moved to Bentonville, Arkansas, where he died on August 5, 1999. 
Christian A. Peterson Pictorial Photography at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (Christian A. Peterson: Privately printed, 2012) 
This biography is courtesy and copyright of Christian Peterson and is included here with permission. 
Date last updated: 1 June 2013. 
We welcome institutions and scholars willing to test the sharing of biographies for the benefit of the photo-history community. The biography above is a part of this trial.
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