Rolling Hills of Georgia
R.A. Miller (Fabricated by Harold Rittenberg)
Mild steel and paint
“Although Miller’s early whirligigs sometimes featured mechanical figures, most were decorated with flat animal or human shapes, cut from tin and painted in enamel. Miller typically attached these cutouts to horizontal wooden supports, ranging from standard two-by-two lumber to salvaged furniture arms and legs. Tin paddles were cut, painted, and attached to wooden cross forms or bicycle wheels to provide surfaces for the wind to catch.” –New Georgia Encyclopedia
Many pieces also include inspirational and biblical messages.
For most of his life, Reuben Aaron Miller worked in cotton mills, farmed, and served as a preacher for the Free Will Baptist Church near Gainesville, GA. When chronic eye problems began to limit Miller’s activities, he started making whirligigs to pass the time. By the mid-1980s Miller’s yard was a spectacle—a hilltop field of hundreds of spinning windmills. His animated environment attracted frequent visitors, including Athens rock group R.E.M., who in 1984, with painter and filmmaker James Herbert, filmed a twenty-minute video, Left of Reckoning, on Miller’s hilltop. –New Georgia Encyclopedia