Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The IMA's most imporatant acquisition

When the Indianapolis Museum of Art is mentioned in the same breath as it's museum peers across the country or around the globe, the topic of conversation is most likely about the physical size of the collection or the current state of the endowment. With a few exceptions (Josefowitz collection, etc), rarely is there mention of an iconic work. We have no La Grande Jatte, no Demoiselles, no Michael Jackson and Bubbles. Other than the ubiquitous Robert Indiana Love sculpture does anything else immediately come to mind? Certainly we all have favorites but are there masterpieces?

Miller House, Columbus, IN designed by Eero Saarinen. Photo via IMA website.

Everything changed when the IMA acquired The Miller Home in Columbus. Let this be our Guernica. Even during the reduced pricing caused by a recession it is becoming increasingly more difficult for any institution to acquire a significant work, painting or otherwise, that is why this priceless gem is even more special. The only downfall is with the obvious limitations of architecture, it's 45 minutes away from the museum and surrounded by neighbors who I am sure hate all the gawkers (myself included) that try and sneak peaks at the famed home. The challenge for the IMA will be making this home accessible while respecting the wishes of neighbors. The best part of the IMA is having 10 extra minutes and dropping in to visit Sandback or Cezanne. Sadly that won't be possible with 'our' Saarinen, but the ultimate success of this acquisition will ultimately depend on how well the IMA handles this balancing act.

1 comment:

  1. Nicely stated. I don't know much about this house, but it seems like a vital gesture in terms of recognizing architecture's place in public art.