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Holidays at Miller House

The holiday season is now upon us, and festive décor is almost everywhere. The IMA’s Miller House is no exception. This will be the first holiday season that the Miller House and Garden has been open to the public, and while the home is not decorated to the extent of Oldfields, the IMA’s other historic property, visitors can still expect to see a few special holiday touches throughout the interior.

Holiday ornamentation at the Miller House will be minimal this year, partly due to the greatly reduced winter tour schedule, but also because the Miller House team is still inventorying the objects in the house and developing the program for collections rotation.

Nevertheless, visitors who have an affinity for Italian glass or crèche scenes will be pleased. Some of the pieces that were chosen to be on display at the Miller House this holiday season include two nativity scenes from Mrs. Miller’s extensive collection from around the world, and several small Murano glass Christmas trees.

An early 19th-century Ecuadorian crèche scene, displayed on the storage wall in a lighted enclosure designed by Alexander Girard, the talent behind the interior design of the home.

A Greek pottery crèche scene on the baker’s table in the main living area.

Several Murano glass Christmas trees in the living room and conversation pit.

A small enameled copper dish was discovered when conducting an inventory of the Miller House barn this past fall.

With the change of the seasons, we also decided to change some other elements of the interior that will remain on display well after the holidays are over.

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Filed under: Miller House


Unpacking Warhol

You’ve probably heard that Andy Warhol Enterprises will be on display at the IMA from October 10th through January 2, 2011. Organized by IMA Associate Curator of Contemporary Art Sarah Urist Green and former Assistant Curator Allison Unruh, this retrospective includes works by Warhol that relate to his business as well as studio practices spanning from 1946 until his death in 1987. Andy Warhol Enterprises encompasses Warhol’s beginnings as a commercial artist upon his move to New York in 1949, as well as works that are more familiar, such as his Brillo box sculptures or his portraits of Marilyn Monroe. Archival materials included in the show provide insight into the many different areas of Warhol’s career. For example, record covers and contracts chronicle his time spent as the band manager for the Velvet Underground and Nico, and episodes of Andy Warhol’s T.V. and copies of Interview magazine serve as evidence for Warhol’s explorations into mass media.

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Filed under: Art, Current Events, Exhibitions


The In-Patient Ward

At any given time, roughly 5% of the IMA’s permanent collection is on display in our galleries or at other institutions on loan. This means the remaining 95% of the collection is tucked away in our on-site storage. But that 95% doesn’t just idly sit there. A portion of it is moved and managed by the IMA’s Registration, Packing, and Storage Departments.

The IMA has roughly 20,000 square feet of space dedicated solely to the storage of its encyclopedic collection. About 4,000 square feet accommodates our prints and drawings collection. The remaining 16,000 is for paintings, sculpture, decorative arts, textiles and more. 16,000 square feet of space may sound like a lot of room, but for a collection of over 55,000 objects, every inch must be utilized.

The IMA has taken measures to maximize its storage areas. One of those ways is employing high-density storage technology like the kind we have for our textile and painting collections. The textile collection is housed in custom-made Delta Design cabinets, which store the collection according to the needs of each individual piece. Is it a carpet that needs to be rolled? Is it a dress that needs to be hung? These cabinets move along tracks that allow the user to have access to the collection one aisle at a time.

Here is a video showing how the storage system works:

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Filed under: Art, Conservation


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