October 13, 2006
ission Inn owner Frank Miller filled his hotel with art that served as a reminder of the California Missions. He purchased some of this art, but he also hired artists to create paintings especially for the hotel. One such artist was George Melville Stone. Stone was from Kansas and came to Riverside at Miller's request in 1909. He first painted a portrait of Allis Miller, Frank Miller’s daughter. Stone also created several paintings with a Mission theme. In this painting, a padre appears to instruct workers to raise a bell. For many years, Stone's paintings hung in the Cloister Walk, the part of the hotel that became known as the Catacombs.
Other artists represented in the Mission Inn collections include Frank Paul Sauerwein (1871-1910), Arthur Hill Gilbert (1894-1970), and James Edwin McBurney (1868-1955). Many examples of these artists’ work are found in the Mission Inn, along with other artists of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Whether collecting existing pieces or commissioning artists to produce new paintings, Frank Miller successfully decorated his hotel with an abundance of mission-themed art.