About This Item
c. 1930’s american depression era historically important single-sided “sullivanesque” style diminutive cast bronze geoerge grant elmslie-designed decorative plaque salvaged from a badly bent and twisted frame of a an exterior wall sconce that once adorned the facade of the the non-extant oliver p. morton school. the lightweight and displayable museum-quality plaque may have been executed by winslow or another midwestern foundry. the plaque is one of many that were mounted to the towering electric sconces, comprised of cast and wrought bronze metal. the riveted cast bronze plaque exhibits an intricate array of deep relief sullivanesque style interwoven organic motifs surrounding a geometrically inspired central cartouche. a total of ten scones were salvaged from the school building. the sconce plaque dates to 1936. george grant elmslie was a prominent architect who worked with louis sullivan and later with william gray purcell. the architectural firm or practice he was most widely known for was that of elmslie and purcell. over the course of the partnership, purcell & elmslie became one of the most commissioned firms among the prairie school architects, second only to frank lloyd wright. following the dissolution of his partnership with purcell, elmslie worked occasionally with various other architects, including lawrence a. fournier, william s. hutton, hermann v. von holst and william eugene drummond, and produced a number of residential structures, banks, train stations, commercial, and institutional buildings during the early 20th century through the 1930′s. the schools, with the oliver p. morton included, were all located in northwestern indiana. they have since been demolished. elmslie’s contribution, in the form of the terra cotta and metal ornament adorning these schools, would be his last commissioned work shortly before his death.