If you’re a resident of Indianapolis or Columbus, it’s probably no secret that Charles Osgood and the crew of CBS Sunday Morning have spent the week looking at architecture and art in Columbus. There’s been a lot of newspaper and television coverage of their work.
I’m looking forward to seeing the show, which airs this Sunday morning at 9:00 am.
As an art conservator, I was assigned to help the crew film at the recently-opened Miller House and Garden. This work was a team effort and many from the IMA were involved in helping the CBS folks get what they needed for the show.
For those of you that have worked to care for a historic house, you know that this work is often filled with challenges and compromise, which in general makes it different from working with collections on view in art museums. Historic houses were, after all, homes used by real humans at one point in their lives, and the Miller House is no exception. No doubt, the Miller family used it like most of us would: they sat in the conversation pit, ate at the dinner table while sitting in the Saarinen Tulip Chairs, played the piano, watched television while sitting in the Eames Lounge Chair, and so on.
Of course, we do not and cannot invite visitors to the house to use it in this way; this is simply out of respect for the materials, and because much of it would not last long if we let everyone use it in this way.
However, we occasionally have to make exceptions when the circumstances require it. One set of circumstances relate to private events that can be hosted there, on a fee basis. Go here for more details on hosting an event at the house.
Another such set of circumstances is when Charles Osgood and crew would like to use the house as a vehicle to talk about Design. To this end, we provided unusual access to CBS; however they had to do all of it under our careful supervision and guidance. I think the end result will justify the compromises.
Spoiler alert: One of the biggest compromises we made was to allow Mr. Osgood to play the piano—he played Back Home Again in Indiana—rather beautifully, I think. This will be featured within the show at some point.
I have to admit to being charmed by “Charlie” through our many conversations during down time and wanted to find a way to commemorate the experience. So, for a moment, I sat down next to him at the piano and played. Please note, though, that I’m wearing gloves.