The Miller House and Garden Digital Collection
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 Newfields. 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.
In early 2012, the museum 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. From 2012 to 2015, “Documenting Modern Living” project staff, with the support of the designers and developers of the Newfields Lab worked to make this digital collection a reality.
Throughout the life of the project, IMA at Newfields Library & Archives department staff members shared many gems from this digitized collection on the popular Tumblr blog Documenting Modern Living: Digitizing the Miller House and Garden Collection. While it was very rewarding to share these selections on the Tumblr blog, the Library & Archives Department is happy to host the entire Miller House and Garden digital collection for scholarly research and viewing pleasure through the Archives Digital Collections Portal.
Alexander Girard textile design board for the Miller House, ca. 1954. Miller House and Garden Collection (M003). Archives, IMA at Newfields
J. Irwin and Xenia S. Miller in the living room, no date. Miller House and Garden Collection (M003). Archives, IMA at Newfields