1933-1934 Robert A. Darrah Miller Born: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1905 Died: Solebury, Pennsylvania 1966 oil on canvas 22 x 28 1/8 in. (55.9 x 71.5 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Transfer from the U.S. Department of Labor 1964.1.140 Not currently on view
Robert Miller's painting of a Pennsylvania farm amid snow-covered hills seems the very picture of cold rural silence. No one travels the road running past the farm. The people and livestock all shelter in the solidly built house and barn. Even the trees are under cover for winter, cut back without a leaf braving the frosty air. Yet the sky is a rich blue, and the barn and house glow in warm tones of red and yellow. The diagonal lines of the trees and buildings suggest suppressed life waiting for spring.
The farms around Miller's home in New Hope, Pennsylvania, held the promise of more than sprouting crops. He was only one of the artists and writers attracted to Bucks County by the picturesque scenery. As the Depression pushed down real estate values, New York City theatrical luminaries such as George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart bought newly affordable Pennsylvania farms. They made an old mill into the Bucks County Playhouse. In New Hope, as in artistic centers across the country, the fresh life emerging in the spring of 1934 would be both creative and agricultural.
1934: A New Deal for Artists exhibition label
Architecture Exterior - domestic - farm house
Architecture Exterior - farm - barn
Landscape - farm
Landscape - season - winter
New Deal - Public Works of Art Project - Pennsylvania
paint - oil
fabric - canvas