firm active: 1907-1921
minneapolis, minnesota :: chicago, illinois
Reflecting Pool, 1914
Photograph (Hess-Ives separation color process)
Notice how the water level rises to the very edge of the retaining wall. This special effect was deliberately intended to produce a flat plane in front of the great east-facing windows of the living room. A needle jet fountain created small waves on the surface. With the rising of the sun, a daytime aurora borealis effect danced on the ceiling inside the house.
Throughout his life, William Gray Purcell pursued an active interest in photography. Here he used the Hess-Ives process of exposing four separate glass plates with different colored filters, which when sandwiched and viewed together produced a color image. Purcell also experimented during this same period with the Lumiere Autochrome color process, and examples of that different system can be seen for the Charles A. Purcell residence. This unique image is taken from a 35 mm slide in the Purcell Papers, which Purcell produced from the original transparency. If transparency has since survived, the location is unknown to me.