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Kenneth Hayes Miller was a senior member of the Fourteenth Street Group, a group of urban realists devoted to creating honest portrayals of street life in Manhattan. Members of the Fourteenth Street Group included Reginald Marsh, Moses and Raphael Soyer, and Isabel Bishop. Miller studied at the Art Students League under the influential artist and teacher, William Merritt Chase and, himself, became an influential teacher at the Art Students League, where he taught for forty years. Miller’s students included Edward Hopper and Marsden Hartley. Miller was one of the first American artists to directly address consumerism in their work.

In the mid-1920’s Miller began painting the women shopping outside of his Fourteenth Street studio. Miller’s etching, Shoppers, an example of work from this period, shows the bustle of a shop-filled street corner. The closely cropped image conveys a sense of intimacy which is contrasted by the detached expressions of the women, in all creating an expression of loneliness within the urban crowd.