Today, a piece of the amazing legacy of photographer Balthazar Korab — 52 photos from the series of photographs he took of the Miller House — designed by Eero Saarinen… decorated by Alexander Girard…. gardens by Dan Kiley … built in 1953 in Columbus, Indiana. When Korab died last year, he contributed these photos to the Library of Congress — making them available for all of us to see. We’ve sifted through the archive of this body of Korab’s work to curate what we think are Korab’s 52 best photos of The Miller House — including some fascinating shots of the models used in Saarinen’s design process.
Born in Budapest, Hungary, Korab didn’t come to the U.S. until 1955, when he was hired as a photographer by Saarinen, who had begun to experiment with using photography as part of the design process. Korab went to work in Saarinen’s office in Bloomfield, Mich.
Korab shot photos of the model for the Miller House — amazing!
Above: You know how we find it fascinating to see the (usually) lesser photographed spaces inside architect-designed midcentury modern houses — like the bathroom and kitchen shown above. For example: Pegboard on the kitchen wall to hold a changing display. In a Saarinen house! As we like to repeat: Also fascinating how these functional spaces in high-style houses looks pretty much like the functional spaces in midcentury modest houses. In our experience studying these houses over the years, there wasn’t all that much difference between modern and modest bathrooms and kitchens in the first few decades after World War II!
Korab continued to shoot photos of the house and gardens over the next 40 years. This is why, we think, as you are viewing the photos, you see changes — upholstery colors, for example.
We love the Alexander Girard decor — the all-white interior is the fresh clean palette — he then layered whimsical color and pattern. But then, there’s natural wall art, too. This house was just … genius. It’s virtually impossible to choose a favorite part. We do know: Thank goodness for Balthazar Korab!
But let’s get to it… All photos courtesy of: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, Balthazar Korab Archive at the Library of Congress [reproduction number, e.g., LC-DIG-krb-00175].
Tips to view slide show: Click on first image… it will enlarge and you can also read my captions… move forward or back via arrows below the photo… you can start or stop at any image: