Louis Sullivan’s designs stand—among stiff competition—as the preeminent exemplars of Chicago School architecture. He brought to his practice a conviction that ornamentation should arise naturally from a building’s overall design, restating, in a large or small way, themes expressed in the structure as a whole.
Sullivan (1856–1924) spent much of his career in a late-Victorian world that bristled with busy, fussy ornament for ornament’s sake. He refuted the contemporary style with the now famous dictum that “form ever follows function.” The pieces adapted for reproduction in this notecard assortment combine Art Nouveau complexity with geometric elegance, and in doing so epitomize the Sullivan sensibility.
Published with the Chicago Architecture Foundation. This assortment includes three each of the following notecards:
1) Adaptation from ornamental medallion on Schlesinger & Mayer (now Carson Pirie Scott) department store, 1899/1904;
2) Adaptation from ornamental detail on Auditorium Building, 1887–1889;
3) Adaptation from ornamental grillwork on Schlesinger & Mayer (now Carson Pirie Scott) department store, 1899/1904;
4) Adaptation from ornamental detail on Getty Tomb, 1890.