Evylena Nunn (E. Nunn) Miller) - Smoke Trees Near Salton Sea - 1925 - Oil on Canvas P2634
A beautifully observed painting of a notoriously difficult subject, the subtle terrain of the Mojave Desert, by a passionate regionalist.
Measures 20" x 24 1/2", frame is 25" x 29".
A landscape painter, Evylena Miller (1888-1966) was born in Mayfield, Kansas where she spent the first fifteen years of her life. In 1903, she moved to Santa Ana, California and earned her B.A. degree from Pomona College and studied with Anna Althea Hills and Hannah Tempest Jenkins. She also attended the Art Students League in New York City and the Berkshire Summer School of Art.
From 1911 to 1918, she taught art at Claremont High School and Riverside Girls School and at Santa Ana High School. From 1920 to 1922, she taught at a boys' school in Japan and then returned to the United States where in 1923, she married Howard Earl Miller, who shared her love of travel.
They lived in Los Angeles and with her painting landscapes, coastal views and Native Americans, they traveled widely including to Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, and Colorado. One of her goals was to paint all of the pueblos of the Southwest, and pursuing that as well as landscape subjects, they forded rivers, went into building ruins, and climbed high elevations. These pursuits led to the completion of 40 canvases of scenes of life in the pueblos of the Navajo, Apache, Toas, Hopi, Jemez, Acoma, Laguna, and Zuni. She also painted in Japan, China, Egypt and the Holy Land and in 1933, her book "Travel Tree" about these journeys was published.
In 1956, she became the director of the Bowers Memorial Museum in Santa Ana and was a member of Women Painters of the West, the California Art Club, and the Laguna Art Association. She died in Santa Ana in 1966, having exhibited widely including the National Art Gallery, the Smithsonian, and the California Art Club.
Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
Phil & Marian Kovinick, "Women Artists of the American West"