Francis Davis Millet USA
11-3-1848 Mattapoisett, USA - 4-15-1912 RMS TitanicBack to Artist IndexView Artists Paintings
At age fifteen, Francis Davis Millet entered the Massachusetts regiment, first as a drummer boy and then a surgical assistant (helping his father, a surgeon) in the American Civil War.
Francis Davis Millet 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. He graduated from Harvard with a Master of Arts degree.
In 1876, Francis Davis Millet returned to Boston to paint murals at Trinity Church in Boston with John LaFarge. He entered the Royal Academy of Fine Arts at Antwerp, Belgium, and won a silver medal in his first year (never before done), followed by a gold medal in his second. 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.
Francis Davis 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. Francis Davis Millet 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.
Millet was involved with the American Academy in Rome from its inception and served as Secretary from 1904–11. He was a founding member of the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts and served from 1910 until his death in 1912. He died aboard the Titanic while traveling to New York City on Academy business.
Francis Davis Millet was a writer and journalist, a noted sculptor and designer as well as well as an artist. He translated Tolstoy and also wrote essays and short stories.
On April 10, 1912, Francis Davis 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 after the sinking by the cable boat Mackay-Bennett and returned to East Bridgewater, Massachusetts, where he was buried in Central Cemetery.
Art Movement: Academic Art
Traveled: Austria, England, Japan, France, Italy, Belgium, Turkey