link: The Minneapolis Institute of Arts Unified Vision: The Architecture and Design of the Prairie School
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The Collection
 All Objects
 Louis H. Sullivan
 Frank Lloyd Wright
 William Gray Purcell and George Grant Elmslie
 George Washington Maher
 objects by other designers
Other Objects
see Arts and Crafts objects in the collection
Makers of objects in the Arts and Crafts tradition were often close collaborators with those architects practicing unified design. For example, William Day Gates, the maker of Teco pottery, worked with George Elmslie on the terra cotta decoration for the National Farmers’ Bank of Owatonna. Also, Arts and Crafts organizations such as the Handicraft Guild of Minneapolis were pursuing progressive ideals -- such as design reform for affordable products, which were important to Prairie School architects. These architects and their clients often chose local Arts and Crafts objects as appropriate complements to organically conceived interiors.

These Arts and Crafts objects are distinct from designs by Prairie School architects in that they were not intended for a particular home or setting, but were intended to be appropriate for any modern home, from Prairie house to Craftsman bungalow. They display the range of qualities exhibited by Arts and Crafts practitioners around the turn of the century: handmade, often with evidence of the handwork remaining, with simple shapes, and organic motifs and colors. Some makers employed techniques, such as the use of ceramic molds, which accelerated production and made their well-designed pieces available to a broader audience. Some delighted in creating one-of-a-kind objects. All were interested in pursuing new, thoughtful designs for things that average Americans would use every day. see objects >

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