Waterbury photographer Peter Miller has had many well-deserved accolades in his long career. His latest is another honor that few artists can claim: Vermont's senior senator, Patrick Leahy — no slouch behind the lens himself — read a tribute to Miller on November 20 on the Senate floor.
Leahy's speech, printed here in full, says it all:
Mr. President, for generations, Vermonters have contributed to our national culture, through art, music, film and prose. Peter Miller is one such artist whose impressive work throughout his life as both a photographer and author has showcased Vermont and its residents and enriching us all.
As an amateur photographer, I have followed Peter's work for decades with admiration. From his early beginnings as a U.S. Army photographer to his travels across Europe with Yousuf Karsh, he has channeled his passion and energy into a remarkable art. Over the past 20 years, his unique ability to capture the Vermont spirit has been well documented and his consistent approach to producing authentic depictions of the Vermont way of life is unparalleled. He shuns the commercialization of art and instead creates his work solely to share and promote the values of our small and community-based State. This attitude was evident more than ever when, being honored as the Burlington Free Press' "Vermonter of the Year" in 2006 for his book "Vermont Gathering Places," he frankly said, "I don't shoot for galleries. I shoot for myself and the people I photograph."