Miriam Hubbard Morris, 90, the owner of "The Lindens," an historic house in Washington, and an authority on 17th and 18th century American furniture and decorative arts, died of cancer June 3 at her home here.
Mrs. Morris and her husband, George Maurice Morris, an attorney and president of the American Bar Association who died in 1954, bought "The Lindens" in 1934. The house, which is of brick, was then in Danvers, Mass. It was built in 1754. The Morrises had it moved to Kalorama Road in Washington and occupied it in 1937. Mrs. Morris, who lived in it for the rest of her life, made it a museum as well as a home.
Mrs. Morris used to say that she bought it because no existing house in Washington could provide a proper setting for her collection of 17th and 18th century furnishings and artifacts. What she meant was that her interest in antiques did not extend farther forward than about 1755. No house in Washington is that old.
She had such an eye for detail that telephones, radios and other modern gadgets were concealed in old things, so that they would not intrude on the effect she sought. For years after she occupied the house, she continued to collect for it and to redecorate it. Her stated goal was a restoration that was wholly in keeping with the house when it was first built.
"The Lindens" often has been opened to various groups who were interested in antiques and architecture and has been the site of hundreds of benefits and other gatherings. It is estimated that 50,000 people have visited it. Antiquarians and persons interested in antiques regularly made it a first order of business to call on Mrs. Morris when they were in Washington.
Mrs. Morris was one of the original members of the Fine Arts Committee of the State Department and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. She also was a member of the D.C. Historical Society and of similar groups in England and Ireland. She lectured in the Far East for the State Department, at Colonial Williamsburg, and elsewhere in this country and in Britain and Ireland.
She was a vice president of the English Speaking Union and a member of the Colonial Dames, the 1925 F Street and Sulgrave clubs.
Mrs. Morris was born at Chestertown, Md. She graduated from the National Cathedral School for Girls and moved to Washington permanently in 1918, when she was married.
Survivors include three children, Mrs. Kenneth Young of Houston, Tex., Hugh Morris of Portola Valley, Calif., and Hillis Garlick of Taos, N.M.; a brother, Wilbur Ross Hubbard of Chestertown; 10 grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren.