By Connie Nimmo Thorn
Every year, The Miller House decks the halls in glorious fashion paying homage to J. Irwin and Xenia Miller’s eye for modern design. The Millers commissioned some of the best architects and designers to design their home in 1953. From nativity scenes to Murano glass trees and more, the Miller House gets a little more festive and colorful than it already is.
Xenia Miller had an extensive collection of creches, or artistically crafted nativity scenes, from around the globe. She collected over 100 in her lifetime. Many of her creches were hand selected and gifted to her by Miller House designer, Alexander Girard. Each creche has its own story. After Miller’s passing, her children gifted many creches to her favorite charities. However, a few still remain in the Miller House on the display wall for the holiday season.
There’s a traditional porcelain German Hummel nativity, depicting the birth of Christ. A Peruvian, hand-painted paper mâché set consists of the three kings. Each piece tells the Christmas story in its own way. Some only include the baby Jesus, Mary and Joseph, while others include the shepherds, angels and animals that came to meet them. The other sets on display are from Greece, England, Italy, United States, France and Mexico. The materials and artistic style of each scene say a lot about the artists’ culture and home country. Some creches are a little more whimsical, while others are delicate and demure. One of Miller’s favorite creches was a colorful ceramic one designed by Girard’s brother, Tunsi.
Bright red poinsettias line the unique entertaining room called the conversation pit. Inside the conversation pit, three wooden tree sculptures and a delicate Italian candy dish sit on the coffee table. The swirly colors of the Murano glass trees glisten throughout the home. The Christmas tree boasts colorful vintage glass ornaments.
The Miller House will be festively decorated from November 26, 2018-January 8, 2019. Take a guided tour during the day to enjoy this jewel of modern architecture decorated in colorful, multicultural fashion.