Encyclopedia of World Biography. Michael- Orleans by Paula K. Byers, Suzanne Michele Bourgoin

By Paula K. Byers, Suzanne Michele Bourgoin

Offers short biographical sketches which offer very important facts in addition to details at the value of the individual indexed.

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The works are characterized by breadth and simplicity; they generally depict one or two peasant figures quietly engaged in earthy or domestic toil. With sweeping, generalized brushwork and a monumental sense of scale, Millet consistently dignified his characters and transformed them into heroic pictorial beings. During the late 19th century Millet’s paintings became extremely popular, particularly among American audiences and collectors. As more radical styles appeared, however, his contribution became partially eclipsed; to eyes accustomed to impressionism and cubism, his work appeared sentimental and romantic.

It therefore came as a complete surprise when his Greek professor asked him to teach the elementary physics course. Encouraged by the professor’s remark that ‘‘anyone who can do well in my Greek can teach physics,’’ Millikan accepted the challenge and spent the summer reading an elementary textbook and working the problems in it. ’’ Millikan obtained his bachelor’s degree in 1891 and his master’s in 1893, at the same time continuing to teach elementary physics. He received his doctorate from Columbia in 1895 and then spent a year abroad, visiting the universities of Jena, Berlin, and Go¨ttingen.

Before the year was over he had married and had founded a new paper, the Eugene City Review. Later Miller settled in a mining camp in Canyon City, Ore. He practiced law, worked a claim of his own, fought Indian harassment, and was elected judge of Grant County in 1866 for a 4-year term. In 1869 the Millers were divorced. For the next 10 years Miller pursued a literary career. His first book of verse was Specimens (1868). It was followed by Joaquin et al (1869), a collection of 11 poems signed Cincinnatus Hiner, mostly sentimental doggerel and bad imitations of Edgar Allan Poe.

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