Can you believe summer is over? I feel like I blinked and it was gone. One of my favorite destinations was the Indianapolis Art Museum. The grounds are stunning and the museum is astonishing – more on those in another post. One part of the museum that caught me completely off guard was the Lilly House. What I had in mind was a house full of lillies – this, in fact, is very much not the case.
The Lilly House is named for the Lilly family. The current decor of this home largely represents the 1930s era, shortly after the Lilly family moved in. The 22-room French chateau-style mansion is named for it’s former owners, the Indianapolis businessman, collector and philanthropist, J.K. Lilly Jr and his wife Ruth.
In 1966 the estate and surrounding land was donated to the Art Museum of Indianapolis by the children of Mr. and Mrs. Lilly to serve as the site for a new museum. The Indianapolis Museum of Art opening on the land of the former Town of Woodstock in 1970.
The loggia – or vaulted gallery – was furnished with tables to play cards and games.
Mr. Lilly’s private library housed over 35,000 rare books and manuscripts, most of which were donated to Indiana University as the founding collection for the Lilly Library.
The three-car attached garage would have been a very new architectural feature in the 1910s – older estates normally had detached carriage houses. Over the years, the Lilly family owned a variety of cars, from Rolls Royces to station wagons. Both Mr. and Mrs. Lilly had their own chauffeur.
Indianapolis Art Museum
4000 Michigan Road
Indianapolis, Indiana 46208-3326
General Phone Inquiries 317-923-1331
24-hour Information Line 317-920-2660