Richard McDermott Miller (1922-2004) was a sculptor and educator in New York, NY. Miller was born Richard Alan Miller in 1922. After studying at the Cleveland Institute of Art in the 1940s, Miller returned to his home town of New Philadelphia, Ohio, to work in the family plaque business.
At the age of 40, he and his wife, Gloria Bley Miller, moved to New York City. This transition is the focus of Miller's posthumously published autobiography, Heading for New York: A Sculptor's Journey. Upon arriving in New York, Miller began using McDermott (his mother's maiden name) as his middle name.
Countering prevailing tastes, Miller abandoned the popular abstract style to explore the human form. In addition to executing portraits and medals, his primary focus was the nude female figure. He worked with live models, creating sculpture in clay or wax, often casting in bronze. Because of his dedication to naturalistic work, Miller became known as the "Figure Sculptor of SoHo." Miller completed several large-scale commissions for public spaces across the country. He taught sculpture at Queens College, and, with his wife, wrote the textbook Figure Sculpture in Wax and Plaster.
In New York, Miller was a prominent presence among the city's sculpture organizations, writing many letters to newspapers demanding proper recognition for sculptors. He was active in the Sculptors' Guild, and active member and president (1989-1992) of the National Academy of Design, and president (1997-2000) of the National Sculpture Society. Upon his death in 2004, he bequeathed his SoHo building to the National Sculpture Society.