blueprints (reprographic copies)
clippings (information artifacts)
NOTE: Due to a generous grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), this collection is being digitized and will be available in the Spring of 2014. Until then, please follow along on our blog where we feature highlights from the collection: Documenting Modern Living: Digitizing the Miller House and Garden Collection http://www.imamuseum.org/digitizingmillerhouseandgarden
The Miller House and Garden Collection contain materials documenting the design, construction, history, and maintenance of the residence over a period of over 50 years from 1953-2009. The materials reflect the design work of Eero Saarinen [1910-1961], Dan Kiley [1912-2004], and Alexander Girard [1907-1993], and also the involvement of J. Irwin Miller [1917-2008] and his wife Xenia Simons Miller [1917-2008] in shaping their home and garden. The collection includes four categories of materials: documents, drawings, photographs, and materials samples.
A large portion of the collection consists of the file folders of paper documents. The files include receipts, invoices, notes, lists, and inventories relating to every aspect of the property. The Millers consulted with the designers over the years as their needs changed and as the house required updating.
The collection also includes a large quantity of photographs. Many are copies from professional and nationally renowned architectural photographers such as Balthazar Korab. Some images document renovations, repairs, and other changes to the house and garden.
The architectural drawings consist of 1950s blueprints of the original house and gardens, as well as plans related to renovations and repairs through 2009. Many of the Millers’ blueprinted plans have hand written annotations from the designers. The documentation also includes some original sketches of the home and garden. Many of Girard’s original drawings for rugs, textiles, and other interior design elements are also housed in the collection.
The collection contains many textile samples related to the interior design and décor of the home. In the collection are samples from the original 1950s upholstery, rugs, and other materials used to decorate the interior. Many were specifically designed by or chosen by Alexander Girard. Some small samples are attached to pages of paper with detailed notes. Also included are three-dimensional objects such as samples of marble for the table tops and the interior walls.