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Progressive Design in the Midwest

The Purcell-Cutts House and the Prairie School Collection at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts

2001
Author:

Jennifer Komar Olivarez

Progressive Design in the Midwest

An essential guide to Prairie School art and architecture.

This exhaustive guide to the treasures of the Prairie School at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts focuses not only on the museum’s outstanding collection of early twentieth-century American design but also on the Institute’s historic Purcell-Cutts house, one of the most significant examples of Prairie School architecture in the country. With its multitude of historic photographs, many never before published, Progressive Design in the Midwest is a unique combination of history, house tour, and museum guide.

Offers a delightful, in-depth tour of the historic Purcell-Cutts house, and includes a catalogue that discusses (and displays with color photographs) each Prairie School object in the museum’s collection.

Architecture Minnesota

Built by William Gray Purcell and George Grant Elmslie in Minneapolis in 1913, the Purcell-Cutts house features a buff-colored facade, nearly flat roof, floor-to-ceiling art glass windows, and a revolutionary interior structured around an open floor plan, facilitating everyday living without the senseless division of space. Progressive Design in the Midwest documents the house and its furnishings from the year it was built to the time it was donated to the museum, restored, and opened to the public in 1990.

The many objects in the Institute’s Prairie school collection, including works by Louis Sullivan, Frank Lloyd Wright, William Gray Purcell, and George Grant Elmslie, among others, are described in detail. Along with each piece is a list of relevant texts, exhibitions, and the historical background of the piece, as well as information about the designer.

With its multitude of historic photographs, many never before published, Progressive Design in the Midwest is a unique combination of history, house tour, and museum guide.


Distributed for the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.

Progressive Design in the Midwest

Jennifer Komar Olivarez is assistant curator of decorative arts, sculpture, and architecture at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.

Progressive Design in the Midwest

Offers a delightful, in-depth tour of the historic Purcell-Cutts house, and includes a catalogue that discusses (and displays with color photographs) each Prairie School object in the museum’s collection.

Architecture Minnesota

This essential guide to Prairie School art and architecture in the Midwest includes many never before published historic photographs. The book documents the history of the Purcell-Cutts House, built in 1913, which introduced an open floor plan, enabling everyday living without unnecessary division of space. The book celebrates the evolution of the home and the objects found inside, in addition to the other treasures from the Prairie School Collection at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Objects in the Purcell-Cutts home are described in detail. Along with each description is a list of relevant texts, exhibitions and the historical background of the object, as well as information about the designers.

I.D. Magazine

An informative introduction to the once-again popular architecture and design of early-twentieth century Minnesota. The volume’s artful design and rare black-and-white and 178 color photos successfully convey a sense of the movement’s interest in warmth and spare, organic simplicity. A genuine ‘best buy’.

Minnesota History