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Miller, Everard Studley (1886–1956)

by Ursula Hoff

This article was published in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 10, (MUP), 1986

Everard Miller, n.d.

Everard Miller, n.d.

Everard Studley Miller (1886-1956), philanthropist, was born on 24 October 1886 at Studley Park, Kew, Melbourne, younger of two sons of (Sir) Edward Miller, banker, and his wife Mary Elizabeth, née Darlot, and grandson of Henry ('Money') Miller. He was educated at Melbourne Church of England Grammar School and at Sherborne School, Dorsetshire, England. Though he would have liked to have gone to the University of Cambridge and become a don, he followed the wishes of his father and returned to take up his position in the family business of the Bank of Victoria, probably until 1927 when the bank amalgamated. He had continued studies under (Sir) Archibald Strong, classical scholar and writer. In 1914 he joined the (Royal) Historical Society of Victoria and attended meetings of the Classical Association.

Miller collected small objets d'art and prints, particularly Arundel chromolithographs reproducing Italian Primitives. His chief interests were engineering and photography. He practised the latter from 1903, increasingly for the purpose of historical study, as an aid to preserving 'the monumental memories of early Australia'; he assembled his work in a series of albums, the first of which was called Historical Monuments in Victoria I. In the pursuit of family history and the history of pioneers he travelled extensively, first in Tasmania and later in Great Britain and Europe. Between 1914 and 1919 he joined Isaac Selby in protesting against the resumption of the old Melbourne cemetery which contained monuments to distinguished pioneers of the Port Phillip settlement.

Daryl Lindsay, from 1941 director of the National Gallery of Victoria, on whom Miller called frequently, remembered that he showed considerable interest in the administration of the Felton Bequest.

In increasingly poor health after World War II, Miller lived quietly at the family house Glyn, designed by the architect Rodney Howard Alsop, in Kooyong Road, Toorak, until his death on 5 July 1956. He was cremated with Anglican rites. A bachelor, tall and distinguished-looking, he was shy and retiring in manner, inclined to contemplation rather than business or society. His most cherished ambition took form in a will which, from an estate sworn for probate at £262,950, bequeathed property and money to the value of £170,000 to the National Gallery of Victoria, as a purchasing fund to be used for the acquisition of 'portraits of individuals of merit in history, painted, engraved or sculptured before 1800'. Purchases were made from about 1960 until 1977 when the fund was exhausted. His collection of photographic material was left to the Royal Historical Society of Victoria; the classics department of the University of Melbourne obtained a selection of his library.

Select Bibliography

  • U. Hoff, ‘The Everard Studley Miller bequest’, in A. Bradley and T. Smith (eds), Australian Art and Architecture (Melb, 1980)
  • Sydney Morning Herald, 19 Sept 1956.

Citation details

Ursula Hoff, 'Miller, Everard Studley (1886–1956)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/miller-everard-studley-7584/text13243, published first in hardcopy 1986, accessed online 22 November 2018.

This article has been amended since its original publication. View Original

This article was first published in hardcopy in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 10, (MUP), 1986

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