Wednesday, November 19, 2008
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On Tuesday it was announced that the Indianapolis Museum of Art was given the generous gift of the J. Irwin Miller House in Columbus, Indiana by the family and foundation of J. Irwin and Xenia Simons Miller. The house was designed by Eero Saarinen from 1953-1957, and is one of only two houses ever built by Eero Saarinen. The other, a collaboration in 1950 with Charles Eames for the famous Case Study House program, is the John Entenza House (case study #9) in Pacific Palisades, California. As an architect, artist and dedicated enthusiast of modernism, I am thrilled with the IMA’s acquisition of the Miller House.
My enthusiasm for this new acquisition is topped only by my fervor for Max Anderson’s hiring of R. Craig Miller and the impact they are having on our previously design-sleepy community of central Indiana. The opening of the IMA's new Design Center promises to educate our local museum-goer on the fantastic world of modern design. And... you can take it home.
Mr. Miller's forthcoming show and symposium in March Shaping the New Century: European Design since 1985 promises to be a stellar introduction to the breadth and creativity of industrial and decorative design beyond our shores from the past 20 years. Scheduled speakers for the symposium include Alberto Alessi, Catherine McDermott, Michele De Lucchi and Richard Wright of Wright20 in Chicago. Yes, I have purchased my ticket.
While I'm singing the praises of the IMA, I'd like to also note the opening of the Toby Theatre - Finally, a real art house in Indianapolis! There, I said what many have been thinking.
My hope is that the work of Mr. Anderson and Mr. Miller will trickle out into a greater understanding and appreciation of the many talented local artisans and designers who swam against the current throughout the 20th century to produce great modern design right here in Central Indiana. Some of these noteworthy designers include Avriel Shull, Evans Woollen, Parke Randall, Jane and Gordon Martz, and the fine furniture produced by Dunbar in Berne, Indiana.
Looking for the perfect holiday gift? Visit Todd Warweg at his store Meridian Modern Design at 22nd & Meridian Street or Helmut Fortense at Form+Function in Nora Plaza. Both Todd and Helmut have been committed to promoting modern design in Indianapolis for many years. They deserve your patronage like no others in our city. I encourage you to support them, and you will not be disappointed with the wares.
I look forward to what is to come from the IMA and the growing appreciation of Modern Design in Indianapolis. These are exciting times.