R.A. Miller

Born 1912
Died 2006
Lived Gainesville, Georgia

After a short period in a retirement home, his health failing, RA Miller passed away earlier this year. I'll miss being able to stop by his place and watch the whirligigs spin, have a nice chat and then head home with a backseat full of art.

R.A. was a Baptist minister who began creating art to help spread the word of God. His backyard was filled with wonderful whirligigs, and he's created a wide variety of tin cutouts, drawings and paintings. His signature images are of animals, dinosaurs, devils, and his "Blow Oskar", based on a neighbor who would always blow his horn wildly whenever he would drive by.

"I Want That Melon"
Despite his fame in the Folk Art world, R.A. never raised his prices, and you could always come home with something for $5 or $10. One thing you should know about collecting R.A.'s work--a good deal of it was created by family members. When I first visited him, on a sunny summer day, he had quite the factory going on, with a group of people cutting out tin and painting it. So be wary of any tin piece of whirligig made much past the early 90's (perhaps even earlier). If you want something by R.A. himself, you're better off with his paintings and drawings.
"Blow Oskar" Whirligig (probably created by a family member)

I never worried too much about who created what when I would visit R.A. Even the pieces made by family members are charming, but you should keep this in mind as the prices on his work inevitably rise now that he has ceased creating.



Sam McMillan
BF Perkins