Side chair, one of four, c. 1914

In 1913 Purcell and Elmslie built a large summer residence for Edward W. Decker, a Minneapolis banker, on a wooded lot on Lake Minnetonka. The dining room furniture is unlike any other by Purcell and Elmslie. It is constructed of pine, a wood appropriate for a summer house, with chair seats upholstered in hard-wearing horsehair, once a deep blue. The chair backs have no decorative design, letting the form tell the story. The molding on the side-rail terminals and on the feet matched that of the built-in buffets. Purcell later noted that, "Mr. Decker spent all the money that was necessary to make our architectural thesis complete in all its detail...really an integral work in every department."

[Insert photo of Decker Dining Room here - NWAA photo]

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Purcell, Side Chair (#258)
Details
Title
Side chair, one of four
Artist Life
1880–1965
Role
Designer
Accession Number
93.89.1
Curator Approved

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