The Sullivaniana collection is largely the gift of George Elmslie, one of Sullivan's last colleagues and the executor of his estate. This grouping forms the largest extant collection of Sullivan documents (excluding architectural and design drawings). Among Sullivan's contributions to the development of modern American architecture was the new aesthetic for the visual organization of tall buildings: a strong base at grade level, top floors capped with an eye-arresting cornice, and the general office floors in the central shaft repeatable ad infinitum. Sullivan was one of the most prolific architect/critics of the late 19th and early 20th centuries and numerous draft manuscripts and typescripts of his writings are held in this collection. Also included are sketches, personal and business correspondence, personal and project photographs, and memorabilia.
In 1910 John D. Van Allen commissioned Louis Sullivan to design a new department store for his family business in Clinton, Iowa. By this date Sullivan had few commissions and thus spent considerable time attending to his immediate projects. In frequent letters to his client (occasionally daily), Sullivan wrote of his design, guiding and persuading the client toward Sullivan's desired end. In addition to more than one hundred letters, the collection includes financial documents and rare construction photographs.
2 days 1 hour ago The Art Institute of Chicago Congratulations to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture on their grand opening this weekend. The building, designed by architect David Adjaye, is a truly historic addition to the National Mall in Washington D.C. #APeoplesJourney #MakingHistory
2 days 3 hours ago The Art Institute of Chicago Time machines, superheroes, wild creatures, and more… JourneyMaker makes every visit to the museum an adventure.
Try this new digital interactive for families in the museum’s Ryan Learning Center, located in the Modern Wing, or print out a tour at home.
3 days 1 hour ago The Art Institute of Chicago Today marks the autumn equinox and the official end of summer. Celebrate the changing of the seasons with the latest in ARTicle’s Sound and Vision series, matching songs from around the world with our encyclopedic collection.