Documenting Modern Living

The Miller House and Garden Digital Collection

J. Irwin and Xenia S. Miller in the living room, no date

J. Irwin and Xenia S. Miller in the living room, no date, Miller House and Garden Collection (M003), IMA Archives

The Miller House and Garden in Columbus, Indiana, is one of the country’s most highly regarded examples of mid-century Modernist residences. The Miller House was designed by Eero Saarinen, with interiors by Alexander Girard and landscape design by Daniel Urban Kiley. In 2009 members of the Miller family donated the house and gardens as well as many of its original furnishings to the Indianapolis Museum of Art. At that same time, the large and comprehensive records of the Miller House and Garden were transferred to the IMA Archives. The Miller House and Garden archival collection documents the design, construction, history, and maintenance of the residence over a period of more than 50 years, from 1953 to 2009. While most architectural archives present a single viewpoint—generally that of the architect or designer—the Miller House and Garden Collection presents diverse perspectives including those of the client, architect, interior designer, landscape designer, as well as photographers, contractors, and a number of close collaborators.

Alexander Girard textile design board for the Miller House, ca. 1956

Alexander Girard textile design board for the Miller House, ca. 1956, Miller House and Garden Collection (M003), IMA Archives

In early 2012, the IMA was awarded a generous grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to digitize a large portion of the collection and to make it accessible online. Over the past three years, “Documenting Modern Living” project staff, with the support of the designers and developers of the IMA Lab, have been hard at work making this digital collection a reality.

Throughout the life of the project, IMA Library & Archives department staff members have shared many gems from this digitized collection on the popular Tumblr blog Documenting Modern Living: Digitizing the Miller House and Garden Collection. While it has been very rewarding to share these selections on the Tumblr blog, the IMA Library & Archives Department is happy to announce that the entire Miller House and Garden digital collection is now available for scholarly research and viewing pleasure through the IMA Archives Digital Collections Portal.

Visit the Digital Archives Portal by clicking the image below.

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