ima archives


Photographing modern living

Today is photography day in the Indianapolis Museum of Art Archives! While most of the Miller House and Garden Collection can be digitized with standard flatbed scanners, the oversize material requires a different digitization process. Our solution is to capture these large items via digital photography.

The pictures above give a bit of insight into our photography set-up in the IMA Archives. Because it takes so much time to get ready, and a lot of physical space once the equipment is in place, we designate entire days for photography. Not only does this involve a lot of equipment, but it is a two-person job to carefully handle the material.


- Canon EOS SD Mark II Digital Camera- 24-105mm lens
- SanDisk 16GB memory card
- Manfrotto 028B Studio Pro Triman Tripod
- Manfrotto 128LP Micro Fluid Head
- Calumet Travelite 750R two flash kit
- X-Rite Original ColorChecker Card
- Camera tethered to laptop with Digital Photo Professional (program)

How do you hang pictures on marble walls? This drawing shows the system used at the Miller House. Fitted between the steel beam and the marble wall, the aluminum bar had a wire that passed through it from which the picture was hung. After Monet’s Waterlillies (1919) fell , a heavier wire was used to rehang the painting. 

Pencil drawing of Typical Hanger for Pictures, March 1958, 2/11, Miller House and Garden Collection, IMA Archives, Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis, Indiana. (MHG_Ia_B002_f011_042)