Museums and Historic Preservation

An Eero Saarinen house in Indiana has been acquired by the Indianapolis Museum of Arts in a cross effort to preserve and exhibit the famous work. Christopher Hawthonre wonders if this could be a model other cities and museums should follow.
November 20, 2008, 6am PST | Nate Berg
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"The Indianapolis Museum of Art has finalized a deal to acquire Eero Saarinen's Miller House in Columbus, Ind., which was commissioned by J. Irwin Miller and his wife, Xenia, in 1952. Surviving members of the Miller family, along with the Irwin-Sweeney-Miller Foundation, have agreed not only to donate the property to the museum but also to fund $5 million of a planned $8-million endowment to operate and maintain it. The museum, in turn, will raise the remaining $3 million in endowment funds as well as $2 million to restore the house, which has a garden by noted modernist landscape architect Dan Kiley and interiors -- including authentic conversation pit! -- by the great Alexander Girard."

"The Columbus deal suggests one possible model for how such agreements might operate here, with the owner of a significant house donating the property -- and perhaps seeding an endowment -- while the museum pledges to raise additional funds on its own."

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Published on Wednesday, November 19, 2008 in Los Angeles Times
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