Carl Milles sculpted the Poseidon statue in Gothenburg, the Gustaf Vasa statue at the Nordiska museet, the Orfeus group outside the Stockholm Concert Hall and the Folke Filbyter sculpture in Linköping. The latter was featured on a stamp issued in 1975, commemorating the fact that he would have turned a hundred years old that year. Millesgården became his last home and is now a museum.
Milles was born Carl Wilhelm Andersson outside Uppsala in 1875. In 1897 he made what he thought would be a temporary stop in Paris on his way to Chile, where he was due to manage a school of gymnastics. However, he remained in Paris, where he studied art, working in Auguste Rodin's studio and slowly gaining recognition as a sculptor. In 1904 he and Olga moved to Munich.
Two years later they settled in Sweden, buying property on Herserud Cliff on Lidingö, a large island near Stockholm. Millesgarden was built there between 1906 and 1908 as the sculptor's private residence and workspace. It was turned into a foundation and donated to the Swedish people in 1936, five years after Milles had sailed for America and the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills.
In 1931, American publisher George Gough Booth brought Milles to Cranbrook Educational Community, in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, to serve as his sculptor in residence. Part of Booth's arrangement with his principal artists was that they were expected to create major commissions outside the Cranbrook environment. By the time Milles left America for the last time over twenty years later he had dotted the American landscape with his works.
Milles' fountain group "The Wedding of the Waters" in St. Louis, Missouri symbolizes the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers merging just upstream. Commissioned in 1936 and unveiled in May 1940 to a crowd of about 3000 people, the fountain caused a local uproar because of its playful, irreverent, naked, and nearly cartoonish figures, and because Milles had conceived the group as a wedding party with undeniable sexual overtones. Local officials insisted that the name be changed to "The Meeting of the Waters".
Outside the Detroit's Frank Murphy Hall of Justice is a Carl Milles statue, "The Hand of God", which was sculpted in honor of Frank Murphy, Detroit Mayor, Michigan Governor and United States Supreme Court Associate Justice. The statue was placed on a pedestal with the help of sculptor Marshall Fredericks. The statue was commissioned by the United Automobile Workers, and paid for by individual donations from UAW members.
Milles' sculptures sometimes offended American sensibilities, and he had a 'fig leaf' maker on retainer.
STAR of the NORTH; Classical forms, romantic impulses and ancient myths mingle in the rediscovered bronze sculptures of Carl Milles at the American Swedish Institute.(ENTERTAINMENT)
Feb 27, 2000; One of Minnesota's most dramatic sculptures sits largely ignored in the lobby of St. Paul's City Hall and Ramsey County...