|For this one-of-a-kind dining room suite, Elmslie used dynamic triangular and trapezoidal forms and a wealth of ornament, applying Sullivanâs concept of systemically developed organic decoration. The lustrous, reddish-toned mahoganyâa wood rare in Prairie School furnitureâis complemented by multicolored inlay around the top edges of the table and sideboard, art-glass inlay in the top rail of each chair, and silver-plated metal rods in the legs of the table and sideboard. Each end of the table conceals âlopersââextenders that can be pulled out to support leaves, thus keeping the square tabletop intact.
Purcell called the Hanna furniture the firmâs âmost highly jeweled set.â He was so fond of it that before it was shipped to Mrs. Hanna he moved it into his own house for a photo shoot for the journal Western Architect. It looked more appropriate, he thought, than his own dining room suite, which he had designed in 1908 for his grandmotherâs house.
The MIA borrowed the Hanna table, sideboard, and two chairs in 1992 for display and to replicate them for the Purcell-Cutts house. In 2011, the museum acquired the suite, along with two more original chairs. Thanks to donations from a group of generous MIA members, the chairs were recently conserved and reupholstered in a period-appropriate fabric.|