Speaker: Mark Eischeid (University of Oregon)

The Miller Garden (Columbus, Indiana, USA) is widely regarded by scholars and designers as a canonical example of modernist landscape architecture.  Dan Kiley (1912-2004) designed the garden between 1955 and 1958, and continued to consult on the project until the early 1980s.  During just over fifty years of private ownership, the Miller Garden was primarily documented through published photographs, and it is these photographs that have formed the basis of the garden’s understanding.  Yet this photographic corpus presents an incomplete picture of the garden: some elements and areas were repeatedly photographed, whereas others were not photographed at all.  And those parts of the garden that were photographed tend to be represented in limited weather and environmental conditions.  Relying on a such a limited photographic collection precludes the possibility of a comprehensive understanding of the garden.  This presentation reviews the benefits and limitations of landscape architectural photography, discusses the photographic lacunae of the Miller Garden, presents a method for engaged photography, and daylights significant garden elements and areas in the Miller Garden that have been missing from the scholarship.

Mark R. Eischeid is an Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture at the University of Oregon where he primarily teaches history classes and design studios.  His research focuses on the history and theory of twentieth- and twenty-first-century landscape architecture, and his writing has appeared in LA+Landscape Journal, and Landscape Research.  He is a chartered landscape architect and has worked for Sasaki Associates and Scott Lewis Landscape Architecture on campus, waterfront, and residential projects in the USA and Asia.  Mark has exhibited in solo and group exhibitions in the UK, Japan, Denmark, and Greenland, and his work is in private and public collections in the USA, UK, and the Netherlands.  Mark currently serves as an Assistant Editor for the journal Landscape Research.

IHR Seminar Series: History of Gardens and Landscapes

Engaged Photography: Revealing the Miller Garden