Indy Conference Illuminates Modernist Masters

Miller House and Garden

Miller House and Garden. Courtesy Indianapolis Museum of Art.

At the September LALH conference, Masters of Modern Landscape Design, at the Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA), presenters discussed the work of modernist landscape architects including the relatively famous rebels—Garrett Eckbo, Dan Kiley, and James Rose—and others less well known, such as A. E. Bye and Ruth Shellhorn.

For several presenters and participants, the tour of Kiley’s garden at the Irwin Miller House (1955), in neighboring Columbus, was a highlight of the weekend. The IMA acquired the Miller House and Garden in 2009. After refurbishing the landscape and the Eero Saarinen house, the museum opened it to the public in 2011. Now the place “where modernism began,” as Peter Walker, FASLA, said of the Miller garden, receives pilgrims from all over the world—marking the elevation of at least one rebel from iconoclast to icon.

The presenters

The presenters (left to right): Jane Amidon, Kelly Comras, Kenny Helphand, David Streatfield, Thaisa Way, Dean Cardasis, JC Miller, and Marc Treib.

Each of the speakers is writing a book about the subject of their talk for a forthcoming series to be published by LALH and distributed by W. W. Norton.

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