Henry Miller, 90, stockbroker and painter

August 16, 1999|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

Henry Miller, a retired stockbroker, portrait painter and businessman, died Saturday of congestive heart failure at Sinai Hospital. He was 90 and lived in Lochearn.

Mr. Miller cut a distinctive figure in Baltimore in the 1930s and 1940s. He often sported a flamboyant beard and mustache, which turned heads on the city's streets, according to a 1941 article in The Sun.

He included paintings of his whiskers in a one-man show of portraits at the Baltimore Museum of Art in 1941, and they were a trademark throughout his life. For a time, he painted under the name of Stefan Mlawa.

Born in Baltimore, he lettered in three sports at City College and set a record for the discus throw. He also was the school's 145-pound boxing champ, and enjoyed a short, undefeated amateur boxing career.

After graduating in 1926, he turned down athletic scholarships from two colleges to attend Maryland Institute, College of Art, where he graduated in 1931.

The next year, he set up a studio on Park Avenue. Portraiture was not lucrative during the Depression, and he accepted other commissions, including one from the federal government to paint murals at Aberdeen Proving Ground.

Mr. Miller served in the Army in World War II.

In 1946, he joined a brother and brother-in-law in co-ownership of The Oasis Niteclub on The Block. He sold his interest a decade later and turned again to painting.

He studied in Italy in 1956 and later in New York at the Art Students League. Returning to Baltimore, he taught painting for five years.

He then joined Gruntal & Co. in Baltimore as a stockbroker, where he worked for 27 years. He continued painting until failing eyesight stopped him in 1992.

Also a talented singer, Mr. Miller appeared on Broadway briefly in 1933 in the chorus of Gilbert and Sullivan's "Patience."

Services will be held at 11 a.m. today at Sol Levinson & Bros., 8900 Reisterstown Road, Pikesville.

He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Eva Wollach Miller; a sister, Dorothy Orlove of Baltimore; two sons, Steve Miller of Baltimore and Joshua Miller of Shrewsbury, Pa.; two granddaughters; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Pub Date: 8/16/99

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