As Degas reminds artists:
"Art is not what you can see but what you can make other people see".
Born and raised in New Jersey a bus ride away from the NYC art world, Susan Miller-Havens has been a resident of Cambridge, MA for over four decades. Miller-Havens has two 20 year careers: one in the field of mental health, the other in fine arts. Originally a reconstructive surgical nurse at the MGH, she was one of the founders of The Department of Psychiatry at The Cambridge Hospital.
While working in a clinic she pursued a degree in studio art from Wellesley College where her honors advisers were the watercolorist Richard Yarde and landscape artist, James Wilson Rayen, both practicing artists. Drawn back to psychology she completed her Doctorate in Human Development from Harvard School of Education. After working in adoption reform as an educator she realized once again that human nature was still something she longed to express using art as the vehicle.
Not primarily a portrait artist, Miller-Havens paintings focus on the subtleties within relationships and the human condition in general.
She is known as an artist who invites the viewer into the painting through unexpected use of color, absence of background, and inventive cropping of the images.
Her work is part of private collections in San Diego, Denver, Miami, New York, and Boston. Her commissions include the official portrait of Mayor Alice Wolf Hall of Fame basketball coach Patrick J. Riley and Harvard Dean Jerome T. Murphy. Her life size portrait of Cooperstown Hall of Fame catcher Carlton Fisk is in the Permanent Collection of the National Portrait Gallery Washington D. C. as is her Portrait of Pedro J. Martinez.
She is a member of The Harvard Arts in Education Advisory Council, The Art Connection Boston MA, The National Association of Women Artists, Who's Who in American Women, Who's Who In America, The Harvard Square Neighborhood Association The Somerville Concord, and Cambridge Artists Associations
My painting is an emotional response to color, light, and human experience.
From a very early age I found my reaction to the world around me divided between
a fascination with the inner workings of the mind and the aesthetic beauty of nature.
Pursuits of both these interests are reflected in my career
as I moved back and forth between the two over time.
My understanding of nature and human nature came together in visual expression through painting.
I set up for solution artistic problems that combine images and painting techniques from
the past with those of the present, that define space through unexpected uses of color and line,
that generate for the viewer a sense of psychological ambiguity and timelessness,
that comment on human interaction.
I represent light using both 16th century and 20th century techniques, either underpainting with glazes or applying pigment and wax directly on the canvas. For example, I attempt to combine the techniques of Durer with those of Manet and to add my own inventions.
Cezanne said that he hoped to forge a link with the past.
I am trying to do the same by combining painting techniques and understandings
of human nature from the past with what I have come to perceive in the present.
Like the writer, the blank canvas for the artist is a challenge
1990 Harvard University Cambridge, Massachusetts, Ed.D. Human Development
1978 Wellesley College Wellesley, Ma. B.A. with honors Studio Art
1965 Lasell College, Auburndale, Massachusetts A.S. Science
Awards & Honors
2014 Artist of the Month National Art Museum of Sport Indianapolis Indiana
2014 Solveig Stromsoe Palmer Memorial Award for Oil painting, National Association of Women Artists Annual Exhibition
2007 Historian’s Choice National Portrait Gallery Washington D.C.
2007 Solveig Stromsoe Palmer Memorial Award for Oil painting, National Association of Women Artists Annual Exhibition
2000 Prize winner, The Adam East Museum and Art Center, Washington State
1999 One of Ten Winners, Art Calendar Magazine National Contest
1997-8 Featured Artist Cambridge Children & Family Services
1995- Marquis Who’s Who of American Women
1975 Honors in Studio Art Wellesley College
Selected Public & Private Exhibitions/Collections
2018 National Children’s Museum Indianapolis ID
2015 Bay Cove (Safety Net Outreach) Boston, MA
2013 The Boston Red Sox Foundation, Boston MA
2013 Bay Cove Human Services, Boston MA
2013 Massachusetts Department of Youth Services, Laurence MA
2011 United Residents in Academy Homes ll (URIAH) Roxbury MA
2010 Young Adult Recovery Destination, MA (YARD)Boston, MA
2010 The Community Family Inc. Everett, MA
2010 The Center For Family Connections, MA
2009 Roxbury Youthworks Dorchester, MA
2009 University of Massachusetts, Boston, MA
2008 Boston Rescue Mission Boston, MA
2001 Harvard University Cambridge, MA
2001 The Center For The Study of Sports In Society Northeastern University, Boston, MA
1998- Private Collections: Colorado, Florida, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, California, London England
2016 Pedro J. Martinez Managuayabo, Dominican Republic
2006 Private Collection Santa Monica, CA
2004 Private Collection Cambridge, MA
2003 The City of Cambridge Official Mayoral Portraits
2001 The Harvard Graduate School of Education Cambridge, MA
2000 Phelps Collection Watertown, MA
1998 Patrick J. Riley Pres. Miami HEAT Miami, FL
1994 The Special Needs Clinic Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center New York City
Exhibitions (*solo shows ** juried shows)
**2013 The National Museum of Sport Indiana
2012 The Sports Museum of New England, Boston MA
2010 The National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C. Permanent Collection
**2007 National Association of Women Artists N.Y.C. Annual Exhibition Hoboken, NJ
2006 The National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C. Permanent Collection
2003 Florida International Museum, St. Petersburg, FL
2000 Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center Little Falls, NJ
**2000 Adam East Museum and Art Center Moses Lake, WA
1999 Grand Slam Fine Art Gallery, National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, Cooperstown, NY
**1995 Hofstra Museum Hofstra University, Long Island, NY
* 1993 The Somerville Museum, Somerville, MA
* 1977 Wellesley College Museum, Wellesley, MA
Galleries / Online and In Situ
2022 Mary Schein Fall Salon Cambridge Art Association Cambridge MA
2022 Somerville Open Studios 11 Miller Street Somerville MA
**2021 National Organization of Women Artists NYC (online exhibit)
2018 National Association of Women Artists, New York, NY Group Show
**2014 National Association of Women Artists, New York, NY
**2010 Cambridge Arts Council City Hall Gallery Cambridge, MA
**2009 Cambridge Art Association Cambridge, MA
**2009 Cambridge Arts Council Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA
**2008 George Krevsky Gallery San Francisco CA
**2007 Cooperstown Art Association 72nd Annual National Exhibition
2007 La Luz de Jesus Gallery Los Angeles, CA
2007 Varnish Fine Art San Francisco, CA
2005 Crane Collection Wellesley, MA Spring and Summer Shows
* 2004 Bromfield Art Gallery Boston, MA
**2003 Ayer Lofts Gallery Lowell, MA
**2001 Yamawaki Gallery Lasell College Newton MA
**2001 Northwood University Art Gallery, West Palm Beach, FL
**2000 Mills Pond House Smithtown Township Arts Council, St.James, NY
1999 The Art Calendar Artist’s Pavilion Artexpo New York City
**1999 Gallery 53 Cooperstown, NY
**1998 Gallery 53 Cooperstown, NY
**1997 Gallery 53 Cooperstown, NY
*1996 Charrette ProGraphics Cambridge, MA
**1996 Gallery 53 Cooperstown, NY
**1995 Gallery 53 Cooperstown, NY
1994 The Brenda Taylor Gallery, Newbury Street, Boston, Massachusetts
1991 Shady Hill School, Cambridge, MA Alumnae Group Show
1976 Childs' Newbury Street Gallery, Boston, MA
2018 Ruehl, Isabel C. Miller-Havens Gallery Moves Into Harvard Square The Harvard Crimson Oct 23 2018
2018 Chow, Liana E.Portrait of an Artist: Susan E. Miller-Havens The Harvard Crimson Oct 23 2018
2018 Levy, Mark At least until Abbot Buildings Construction, Harvard Square is Notably Open for the Arts Oct 18 2018
2012 Shanahan, M. “Susan Miller-Havens Joins Pedro Martinez at National Portrait Gallery” Names & Boston.com The Boston Globe – May 10, 2012.
2011 Twenty-two Articles relating to The Martinez Portrait Presentation The National Portrait Gallery Washington D.C.
2011 Garrrett, Jennifer “ Susan Miller-Havens, Davis Scholars” Wellesley Alumnae Magazine p. 39
2008 Copenhagen, Edward Portraits of the Harvard Graduate School of Education Deans President Fellows of Harvard University Artist Susan Miller-Havens p. 17
2008 ARTS The Cambridge Chronicle "Miller-Havens Wins Palmer Award" September 27, 2007 p.18
2004 Palumbo, Mary Jo - "Painting The Corners", Cambridge portrait artist uses baseball, Red Sox players as metaphor for life Boston Herald Newspaper, October 12, 2004
2004 “Mr. 3000” A Disney Film, Set design, three reproductions of paintings
2004 Palumbo, Mary Jo - "Contemporary Art in Boston" - Art News Magazine -
Plummer, D'Lynne - contributing art writer "You Don't Have to Love Dogs to Love Miller-Havens" -
South End News - March 11 p. 25
2003 Eisner, D. "Wolf Portrait Unveiled" - The Cambridge Chronicle - December 18
2003 Tuttle, N. "Ayer Lofts Opens A Window On Women's Everyday Lives" - The Lowell Sun Newspaper February 27, 2003
2002 ABC Television “New England Artists” Chronicle, repeated
2001 ABC Television “New England Artists” Chronicle
2000 Carlson, B. "Profile" - Wellesley Alumnae Magazine - Summer Edition 2000
2000 Haley, A. "Latino Stars Honored in Museum Exhibit" Courier News - October 18, P 2
2000 Lieberfarb, D. "Hall of Fame" - The Star-Ledger - September 22-28, 2000 - p.27
2000 Tomlinson S. "Painter of The Stars" - Boston Sunday Globe City Weekly - September 24, 2000 - p.10-11
1999 Beggy, C. & Carney, B. "Cooperstown in Red" - Names & Faces - The Boston Globe - March, 1999
1999 Parney, L. "Capturing a Colorful Game on Canvas" - Christian Science Monitor - August 24, 1999
1999 Smith, A. "Painter's On the Ball" - Boston Herald Sunday Home Magazine - February 21, 1999 - p.2
1999 “Capturing a Colorful Game on Canvas” L. Parney, The Christian Science Monitor
1998 Dezell, M. & Carney, B. "Cooperstown Currents" - Names & Faces - The Boston Globe - July 29, 1998
1998 Gallo, J. "Miller-Havens Paints the Players" - TAB Arts & More October 6, 1998
1998 Gallo, J. "Painting the Players" - The Entertainment Line - The Cambridge Chronicle October 1, 1998
1998 Mulford, S. "Inside, Outside" - Boston Briefs - The Carriage News - September, 1998
1997 “Somerfest” Somerville, Massachusetts
1993 Kantrowitz, J. "A Tribute to the Boys of Summer" - City Weekly - Boston Sunday Globe - June 27, p3
1993 Schultz, K. "Baseball Meets Art in Somerville Museum's 'Green Fields of the Mind'" - The Cambridge Chronicle - June 20, 1993
2021 Young Portrait Explorers The Artist’s Process Pedro Martinez The National Portrait Gallery The Smithsonian 2011 Twenty-one radio/T.V. pieces relating to The Martinez Portrait Presentation The National Portrait Gallery The Smithsonian Washington D.C.
2009 “Face To Face” National Portrait Gallery Smithsonian Institution
Interview With NPG Curator Sidney Hart, PhD.
2002 “New England Artists” ABC Television Chronicle, repeated
2001 “New England Artists” ABC Television Chronicle
1998 WMJX Boston Life with Gay Vernon
1998 New England Cable News Cover Story
1998 New Sports Network Front Row
Teaching & Lecturing
2022 The Artist’s Creative Process teaching video, Pedro Martinez Portrait National Portrait Gallery
2021 Young Portrait Explorers The Artist’s Process Pedro Martinez The National Portrait Gallery The Smithsonian
2015 Co-Workshop Leader Materials Laboratory with Francesca Bewer, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, MA
2012 Speaker, National Portrait Gallery Washington, D.C.
1997 Speaker, “Somerfest” Somerville, MA
1993 Guest Lecturer, The Somerville, Museum, Somerville, MA
1988-89 Head Teaching Fellow, Dept. Psychology Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
2022 South Coast Artists Westport MA
2022 Somerville Art Association Somerville MA
2021 Concord Art Association Concord MA
Harvard Square Business Association
Member Advisory Council for Arts in Education, Harvard University Graduate School of Education, Cambridge MA
2000- National Association of Women Artists, New York City & Massachusetts