David Humphreys Miller

David Humphreys Miller (June 8, 1918 – August 21, 1992) was an American artist, author, and film advisor who specialized in the culture of the northern Plains Indians. He was most notable for painting his 72 portraits of the survivors of the Battle of the Little Bighorn. In auxiliary to his portraiture, he was furthermore featured as a obscure advisor upon Native American culture for the films Cheyenne Autumn, How the West was Won, and the TV show Daniel Boone. Miller moreover wrote several books upon Indian history. In 1948, he fixed the last meeting of the Bighorn survivors at the dedication of the Crazy Horse Memorial.

Miller was born in Syracuse, New York, into a relatives of artists. He spent most of his childhood sketching and painting to develop his artistic talent. At age 16 subsequent to the aid of a translator, he first visited the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota and began interviewing the surviving survivors of the Battle of Little Bighorn, most of whom were more than 70 years old. Most of them had never past conveyed their stories to a white man. As the Indian warriors were a majority of the fight survivors, these assorted interviews proved definitely important to superior historical examination of Custer's fall. He went on to examination art at the University of Michigan, New York University, and at the Grand Central School of Art under Harvey Dunn. He after that worked privately next Winold Reiss, continuing his work on the Bighorn survivors in the same way as his family's blessing during the summer. In 1942, he went into promote for the 14th Air Corps in China during World War II. By the become old of his recompense to the United States, there were lonely 20 bustling survivors of the battle. Furthering his study of the Plains peoples, Miller hypothetical 14 Indian languages, including sign languages, and was adopted into 16 separate Indian families. Eventually, he was solution the proclaim Chief Iron White Man by Black Elk, in honor of the Oglala Sioux medicine man who had been at Little Bighorn. He complex served as a technical advisor for 25 "Western" films. A good buddy of Korczak Ziolkowski, Miller organized the last reunion of the surviving 8 Bighorn survivors on June 3, 1948, at the dedication of the Crazy Horse Memorial. In 1971, he wrote an extensive article upon the recollections of the Custer survivors for American Heritage magazine. In his innovative years, Miller and his wife, Jan, lived in Rancho Santa Fe, California, where he continued to paint and write until his death in 1992.

Miller's most prominent and historically significant works were his 72 portraits of Custer survivors, which began like his painting of Chief Henry Oscar One Bull in 1935, and were completed in 1942. Most of his portraits were painted upon flat, white acrylic. He took special care to precisely recreate indigenous gear, clothing, and weaponry. In 1972, his works won the Western Heritage Award from National Cowboy Hall of Fame.[page needed] His new works included the mural commissions of Mount Rushmore, and at the Citadel, Charleston, South Carolina. His writings included the books Custer's Fall: The Indian Side of the Story (1957), and Ghost Dance (1959).

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