Francis Davis Millet: November 3,1846-April 15, 1912
From the Millet Article in Wikipedia. Note: The Wikipedia biography needs to be rewritten for OutHistory to focus on Millet's sexual and intimate life, and how that might or might not have effected his art and writing. -- Jonathan Ned Katz, Director, OutHistory.org
Francis Davis Millet (November 3, 1846 - April 15, 1912) was an American painter, sculptor, and writer who died in the sinking of the RMS Titanic on April 15, 1912. His life included two relationships with men that appear to have involved active sexual expression, one with journalist Charles Warren Stoddard, the other with a Greek youth with whom, he wrote to Stoddard, "I am spooning frightfully". Millet eventually married and produced three children.
Francis Davis Millet was born in Mattapoisett, Massachusetts.
At age sixteen, during the American Civil War, Millet entered the Massachusetts regiment, first as a drummer boy and then as a surgical assistant (helping his father, a surgeon). He repeatedly pointed to his experience working for his father as giving him an appreciation for the vivid blood red that he repeatedly used in his early paintings.
Millet rented a studio in Rome in the early 1870s, and in Venice in the mid-1870s, where he lived with Charles Warren Stoddard, a well-known American travel journalist who, evidence indicates, had an active sexual interest in men. Historian Jonathan Ned Katz presents letters from Millet to Stoddard that suggest they had a romantic and intimate affair while living a bohemian life together.
In 1876, Millet returned to Boston to paint murals at Trinity Church in Boston with John LaFarge.
In the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78, he was engaged as a war correspondent by the New York Herald, the London Daily News, and the London Graphic. He was decorated by Russia and Romania due to his bravery under fire and services to the wounded.
During his lifetime, Millet became a well-regarded American Academic Classicist painter.
Millet was close friends with Augustus Saint-Gaudens and Mark Twain, both of whom were present at his 1879 marriage to Elizabeth Merrill in Paris, France; Twain was his best man, along with P. T. Barnum.<CHECK> He was also well acquainted with the impressionist artist John Singer Sargent, who often used Millet's daughter Kate as a model, as well as the esteemed Huxley family.
Millet became a member of the Society of American Artists in 1880, and in 1885 was elected as a member of the National Academy of Design, New York and as Vice-Chairman of the Fine Arts Committee. He was made a trustee of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and sat on the advisory committee of the National Gallery of Art.
He was decorations director for the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893, where he is credited with having invented the first form of spray paint. His career included work with a number of worlds' fairs, including Vienna, Chicago, Paris, and Tokyo, where he made contributions as a juror, administrator, mural painter/decorator, or adviser.
Millet was among the founders of the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and was influential in the early days of the American Federation of Arts. He was instrumental in obtaining the appointment of Emil Otto Grundmann, an old acquaintance from his Antwerp days, as first head of the School. Millet was involved with the American Academy in Rome from its inception and served as Secretary from 1904-1911.
He died aboard the Titanic while traveling to New York City on Academy business.
Millet was a translater, book writer and journalist as well as a visual artist. He translated Tolstoy and also wrote essays and short stories. Among his books are Capillary Crime and Other Stories (1892) and Expedition to the Philippines (1899).
A noted sculptor and designer as well, Millet designed the 1907 Civil War Medal at the request of the U.S. Army and United States War Department. He also executed the ceiling of the Call Room of the U.S. Custom House at Baltimore, Maryland.
On April 10, 1912, Millet boarded the RMS Titanic at Cherbourg, France, bound for New York City. He was last seen helping women and children into lifeboats. His body was recovered by the cable boat Mackay-Bennett and returned to East Bridgewater, Massachusetts, where he was buried in Central Cemetery.
- ↑ Katz, Love Stories, page 217.
- ↑ Katz, Jonathan Ned. Love Stories: Sex Between Men Before Homosexuality (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2001).
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Gaines, Catherine S. A Finding Aid to the Francis Davis Millet and Millet Family Papers, 1858-1984 (bulk 1858-1955) in the Archives of American Art. The Francis Davis Millet And Millet Family Papers Online, Smithsonian Archives of American Art.
- ↑ John Singer Sargent Virtual Gallery
- ↑ Template:Cite web
- Beckwith, Baxter, Maynard, Blashfield, and Coffin, Art and Progress, volume iii (Washington, 1912)
- Katz, Jonathan Ned. Love Stories: Sex Between Men Before Homosexuality. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2001. Chapter 14, "Empty Chair, Empty Bed, Empty House," pages 202-219.
- Sharpey-Schafer, Joyce Anne: "Soldier of Fortune: F.D. Millet" (printed privately; out of print)
- Francis Davis Millet - A Titanic Life by Peter A. Engstrom
- Passengers of the RMS Titanic
- RMS Titanic
- The Devil in the White City
- World's Columbian Exposition
- Francis Davis Millet at Artcyclopedia
- Template:Gutenberg author
- Francis Davis Millet at Encyclopedia Titanica
- Francis Davis Millet And Millet Family Papers Online at the Smithsonian Archives of American Art
- Template:Find A Grave