- Collection ID:
- Physical Description:
This small collection of papers (168 items) of socialite, art collector and patron Flora Whitney Miller document Miller's life-long friendship with surrealist artist Kay Sage measure 0.2 linear feet and date from 1915 to circa 1982. Found within the papers are 79 letters written to Miller by Sage; four letters written to Miller after Sage's suicide about Sage, and one reply letter; typescripts of 63 poems written by Sage, one handwritten poem by Sage, two Sage exhibition catalogs, and 18 snapshot photographs of Sage, Miller, and their friends. Documentation of Miller's career is not found within the papers.
Scope and Content Note
Scope and Content Note
This small collection of papers (168 items) of socialite, art collector and patron Flora Whitney Miller document Miller's life-long friendship with surrealist artist Kay Sage measure 0.2 linear feet and date from 1915 to circa 1982. Found within the papers are 79 letters written to Miller from Sage; four letters written to Miller about Sage after Sage's suicide, and one reply letter; typescripts of 63 poems written by Sage; one handwritten poem by Sage; two Sage exhibition catalogs; and 18 snapshot photographs of Sage, Miller, and their friends. Documentation of Miller's career is not found within the papers.
Due to the small size of this collection, the collection has been arranged as one series.
- Series 1: Flora Whitney Papers Regarding Kay Sage, 1915-1982 (Box 1; 9 folders)
Flora Whitney Miller (1897-1986) was born into two prominent New York families as the daughter of Gertrude Vanderbilt and Harry Payne Whitney. She attended the Brearley School in New York and Foxcroft School in Middleburg, Virginia, where she met and became close life-long friends with the artist Kay Sage. In 1916 Flora made her debut and, shortly after became engaged to Quentin Roosevelt, son of President Theodore Roosevelt. Before they married, Quentin died tragically in 1918 when his plane was shot down in Germany. While attending Columbia University, she met Roderick Tower and married him in 1920. She gave birth to a daughter Pamela in 1921 and a son Whitney in 1923, and was divorced from Tower in France in 1925. In 1927 she married G. Macculloch Miller and had another two children, Flora in 1928 and Leverett in 1931.
Flora Whitney Miller grew up in New York and worked closely with her mother Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, meeting and befriending many artists, dealers, and art patrons. She helped her mother plan the founding of the Whitney Museum of Art and served on the museum's board, serving as President after her mother's death in 1941 until 1966, and as Chairman from 1966 through 1974. Miller died on July 18, 1986.
Funding for the processing and digitization of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.
The Flora Whitney Miller papers regarding Kay Sage were donated by Miller's daughter, Flora Miller Biddle, in 1990.
Alternative Forms Available
The papers of Flora Whitney Miller
regarding Kay Sage in the Archives of American Art were digitized in
, and total
The collection was processed and a finding aid prepared by Erin Corley in 2006. The collection was fully digitized in 2007 as part of the Terra Foundation for American Art Digitization Grant.
Using the Collection
Restrictions on Access
The collection has been digitized and is available online via AAA's website.
for additional information.
Flora Whitney Miller papers regarding Kay Sage, 1915-1982. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Also available at the Archives of American Art are the Kay Sage papers, which have been digitized and are available via the Archives of American Art's website, as well as China Eggs, Kay Sage's unpublished memoirs covering the period circa 1910 to 1935, available on microfilm reel 685. The Archives also holds the papers of Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, Miller's mother, which provide information about Miller's role in the founding and running of the Whitney Museum of Art.
Archives of American Art
750 9th Street, NW
Victor Building, Suite 2200
Washington, D.C. 20001