Collection Theme

Imagining Home

Home. A word dense with personal and social meaning, it conjures images of everything from a stately mansion to a child’s treetop refuge.

Among building types, the residence is the most basic and universal, but it is also arguably the most complex. More than simply a physical structure providing shelter, a home is both the reservoir of our personal domestic aspirations and an outward expression of them.  

Domestic architecture is an area of particular strength in the collection of the Heinz Architectural Center at Carnegie Museum of Art. Objects cover a large swath of the spectrum of residential typologies and take the form of drawings, models, video, photographs, rare books, trade catalogues, and even games. Chronologically, the collection reflects on the past 200 years; geographically, it ranges from the Southeast Asian island of Borneo to a company mill town in Massachusetts. Encompassing in microcosm the trends that have characterized architecture in general over the last two centuries, these images of home encourage contemplation on what “home” means to each of us, and how we fashion our personal environments.