Completed in 1957, the luminous glass-and-slate structure was built in Columbus for the industrialist J. Irwin Miller. It was Miller’s second Saarinen commission, following a bank, also in Columbus, a town he turned into a mecca for architecture enthusiasts. Through decades of use by the large family, his wife, Xenia Simmons Miller, meticulously maintained the home, so that at its opening this spring, nearly all the contents were original.[content:shareblock]
Among Saarinen’s inspired moves was his skylight system, which washes the interior’s white-marble walls with radiant sunshine. Designer Alexander Girard collaborated from the start with the architect and the Millers, lending the sleek house an unexpected playfulness with his vibrant decor, including pillows in a mod scheme of pinks, reds, and oranges ringing the conversation pit in the living room, above. For Brooks this combination reflects the building’s function. Placing the home in the same rank as Philip Johnson’s Glass House and the Eames House, he notes, "This is the only one that was built as a real family residence."[content:advertisement-center]
"Bringing Modernism Home" originally appeared in the July/August 2011 issue of Art+Auction. For a complete list of articles from this issue available on ARTINFO, see Art+Auction's ` July/August 2011 Table of Contents.
Learn more about the Miller House and Garden and the IMA by watching the video below: