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Vintage Chalkware Wall Art from Miller Studio

It’s no secret, I’m a lover of vintage housewares—I collect dishes, glassware and old picture books. Much of my artwork takes inspiration from things I’ve seen from other eras. One of the items I see often are these charming chalkware hand-painted wall sculptures by Miller Studio.

Founded in 1934 by Harry and Clela Miller, the studio began as a small gift shop in New Philadelphia, Ohio. The Millers started creating hand-painted plaster wall plaques, and by 1952, they grew to be the leading manufacturer of decorative wall decor. Their pieces have a very 1950s “cute” aesthetic. These plaster pieces, made to hang on the wall, came in cardboard boxes with cellophane windows.

The look was based in rounded curvilinear shapes and flowing lines. Fish, one of their most popular motifs, came with their own three-dimensional bubbles.

They were also famous for exploring motifs as varied as poodles, fruit and mermaids and many varieties of birds. How amazing would these little guys look above a very modern crib?

This well-aged gold fish is gorgeous with its slightly worn patina. These pieces would be great additions to a gallery wall.

This adorable octopus couple would give instant charm to any blah bathroom.

“Whooo” knew Miller Studio explored the ever-popular owl motif long before it was a trend in nursery design? This citrus-splashed owl family is wide-eyed as well as a wise design statement.

Miller Studio wall sculptures can be readily found on Etsy or Ebay starting at around $5-$15 per piece.

Nancy Bennett

Sunday 11th of April 2021

I have the yellow and blue elephant chalkware from a set of 3 (missing the pink). I believe 1972. I would be interested in selling.

Gayle Lovely

Wednesday 14th of October 2020

I would love to know where I can purchase some of this adorable retro wall art.

Kimmy Doraine

Tuesday 26th of February 2013

These are so cute! Yes, indeed, they'd look great as gallery wall accents.


Friday 22nd of February 2013

The three fish with bubbles and the owls are so cute!