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  • Design Credit: Samantha Todhunter Design Ltd., Photo Credit: Oliver Clarke. Dimensions: H 19 in. x W 25 in.
  • Design Credit: Lucy Harris Studio, Photo Credit: Francesco Bertocci. Dimensions: H 19 in. x W 25 in.
  • Design Credit: Timothy Godbold, Photo Credit: Karl Simone. Dimensions: H 19 in. x W 25 in.
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Peter Miller
Awanyu, American Modernist and Southwestern Painting by Female Artist, 1930's

1930's

$27,000

About

"Awanyu" is a 18 x 24 inches, oil on canvas painting by American modernist, female artist Peter Miller. The work is painted in a vibrant color palette, a signature of Peter Millers' style, often inviting her sense of lively spirituality into her paintings. The title "Awanyu" is derived from the Native American Tewa beliefs and traditions. Avanyu (also Awanyu), is a Tewa deity, the guardian of water. Represented as a horned or plumed serpent with curves suggestive of flowing water or the zig-zag of lightning, Awanyu appears on the walls of caves located high above canyon rivers in New Mexico and Arizona. The work is estate stamped 202063 on verso and framed in a natural wood floater frame. The painting has been conserved and inspected by conservation specialist, Gratz Gallery & Conservation Studio, Inc. American artist Peter Miller (1913-1996) was born Henrietta Myers in Hanover, Pennsylvania. She began using the name Peter Miller after concluding her studies at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 1934 and her marriage to fellow artist and Academy student Earle Miller in 1935. She felt collectors and critics would take her paintings more seriously if she was identified as a male. In childhood, Henrietta and her best friend Ruth picked fictitious nicknames for themselves, and Henrietta reportedly decided upon the name Peter because she liked the idea that it was derived from the Greek word for “rock” or “stone”. Drawn to being one with the natural world would prove to be an essential inspiration to her creativity throughout her life. Miller is classified as an American Modernist, a reputation she earned for having shown at the prestigious gallery and premiere showcase for Surrealist painting of Julien Levy in New York in the 1940s. Reviewers of her exhibitions noted the unmistakable influence of the artists Joan Miró, whose work she owned and whom she knew, and Arthur Carles, whom she studied with, and sources in Native American culture, which came from sharing time between her home state of Pennsylvania and New Mexico. Peter and her husband Earle considered New Mexico their spiritual home, and in 1935 they built a ranch in Española, about 25 miles north of Santa Fe. Being neighbors of the indigenous people of the Tewa Pueblo, their crafts and religious beliefs fascinated Peter and the reliance of Native Americans upon the land and the animals permeated her work for most of her career. Their belief that all creatures could serve as intermediaries in communication with the spiritual world, inspired Miller to incorporate their symbols in her own paintings, along with signs drawn from indigenous pottery and local petroglyphs. The Miller’s intimate familiarity with the customs, rituals, and ceremonies, was assisted by their friendship with the writer Edith Warner and her friend Tilano Montoya, a Native American from the San Ildefonso Pueblo. Warner and Montoya ran a tearoom and restaurant near the Otowi Bridge by the Rio Grande, which later would become a famous meeting place for scientists associated with the Manhattan Project in nearby Los Alamos. In the summer of 2021, "Peter Miller, Forgotten Woman of American Modernism", a fully illustrated, comprehensive, and first ever published monograph on the artist was released, with a text written by art historian Francis M. Naumann, preface by publisher Paul Gratz, and an essay by artist Bill Richards. "Awanyu" is included in the monograph and a copy of the book will be included in the purchase of this painting. Additional shipping quotes are available per request made to the seller via 1stDibs messaging.

Details

  • Creator
    Peter Miller (1913 - 1996, American)
  • Creation Year
    1930's
  • Dimensions
    Height: 19 in. (48.26 cm)Width: 25 in. (63.5 cm)Depth: 1.5 in. (3.81 cm)
  • Medium
  • Movement & Style
  • Period
  • Condition
    The painting has been cleaned and varnished, with some minor in-painting.
  • Gallery Location
    Doylestown, PA
  • Reference Number
    1stDibs: LU140229227082

Shipping & Returns

  • Shipping
    Ships From: Doylestown, PA
  • Return Policy

    A return for this item may be initiated within 3 days of delivery.

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