The main building on the upper terrace was the Millles couple's home and studio during the 1910's and 20's. It was opened to the public in the late 1930's, after having been donated to the Swedish nation by Carl and Olga Milles, residing in USA at the time.
In the kitchen, the diminutive breakfast nook features Olga Milles' decorative paintings on the cupboards, inspired by the walls covered with 17th century antique glazed-ceramic tiles from Delpht, Holland. Millesgården's glass, porcelain and pewter collections are on view in the cabinets.
The adjoining Gallery is characterised by a classicistic interior with grey marbelised walls, a marble mosaic floor and graceful alabaster ceiling lamps of Carl Milles own design. Small models and replicas of Carl Milles works are exhibited here in a changing selection. Sculptures often on view include Girl with falling leaf, a study for the Eurydice figure in the Orpheus Fountain in Stockholm and the Pioneer Woman with Rooster, a sketch for a fountain in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
In the entrance hall there hangs a portrait relief of the Swedish actress Fredrica Löf by the renowned sculptor Tobias Sergel (1740-1814). The calligraphic poem, in Millesgården, from 1962 is written by the Chinese master poet Kuo-Mo-Jo.
In the spring of 1921 the artist-couple Carl and Olga Milles visited the ancient Roman city of Pompeii, together with Carl´s brother architect Evert Milles. They returned home to Lidingö with their heads filled with vivid memories of the Pompeian fresco painted walls and intricately designed mosaic floors. In the following years they completely transformed the sunny room adjoining the sculptors studio into what for obvious reasons became known as the Red Room.
The couple designed a black and white marble mosaic floor as a portrait of their home and garden. The Tritons and Nereids familiar from Carl´s fountain sculptures are depicted swimming amongst sharks, turtles and starfish in the circular centerpiece. Around all four sides of the mosaic the Swedish wild flora are represented in midsummer bloom with birds and butterflies hovering in the air above. In opposite corners two pairs of Millesgårdens many fountains are seen with playing water. The walls of the Red Room have been treated to a very sophisticated form of marbelising called stucco-lustro. This technique entails painting an extremely detailed illusion of veined marble and then polishing the surface with beewax and heat to achieve the striking Pompeian red fresco.
Enjoy the warmth of a virtual southern summer and drive away the blues in the Red Room!
When Carl and Olga Milles returned from USA 1950 Evert Milles designed a new house at the lower terrace. The house got it´s name, Anne´s house, from Carls assistent Anne Hedmark who lived in the house after Carl's death 1955. The furniture are designed by Josef Frank.