Paul Gratz and the Work of Forgotten Modernist Peter Miller
April 24, 2022
Prominent Gallerist Paul Gratz of Gratz Gallery and Conservation Studio in Doylestown has rediscovered the works of painter Peter Miller, an American Modernist. Miller was a wealthy heiress (born Henrietta Myers) and a spiritualist who painted for the love of art rather than ambition. Even so she had notable success, her colorful works having showed at the prestigious Julien Levy Gallery in New York. Her influences were Joan Miro, whom she knew and collected, and Arthur Carles, with whom she studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art. She traveled widely and knew the most prominent artists of her time, including Picasso, Matisse, Calder and Ernst. Miller divided her time between Pennsylvania and New Mexico, where she was influenced by friends on the Tewa Pueblo.
We’ll talk about Miller’s fascinating life and works with Paul Gratz. Miller’s work was mostly forgotten until Gratz had the opportunity to buy the paintings remaining in her estate. The work needed extensive conservation, some of it having been stored in a barn. Gratz is a professional conservator. He was able to do the work during the pandemic. There’s now a book and an exhibition opening at the Gratz Gallery on April 23.
Paul Gratz is the owner and head conservator of Gratz Gallery and Conservation Studio. His formal training began at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Paul continued to hone his ability through apprenticeships with a number of the nation’s most revered conservators, including Gustav Berger, a recognized art conservation pioneer. Gratz is an authority on work by the New Hope Circle of painters. Today, he leads a staff of skilled conservators at the Gratz Conservation Studio, which is housed next to the gallery and is open for private tours.