System of Architectural Ornament, Plate 13, Interpenetration

A work made of graphite on strathmore paper.

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  • A work made of graphite on strathmore paper.

Date:

1922

Artist:

Louis H. Sullivan
American, 1856–1924

About this artwork

By 1922 large commissions had grown scarce for famed architect Louis H. Sullivan, as clients began to choose formal Neoclassical styles over his highly individual, organic architectural vocabulary. Nevertheless, his circle of friends—including members of the Burnham Library committee, the Cliff Dwellers Club, and the American Institute of Architects—understood the true importance of his work and raised money to commission Sullivan to produce a series of plates illustrating his philosophy of architectural ornament. Sullivan firmly believed that architecture’s capacity for emotional expression was rooted in ornament, as a locus of human intellect and creativity. Completed in the last year of his life and exhibited at the Art Institute shortly before his death in 1924, this project—with its twenty exquisitely detailed final plates—ranks among the most important statements on modern architecture ever produced.

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Architecture and Design

Artist

Louis H. Sullivan

Title

System of Architectural Ornament, Plate 13, Interpenetration

Origin

United States

Date

1922

Medium

Graphite on Strathmore paper

Inscriptions

signed and dated at bottom center of design, "Louis H. Sullivan fecit 7/6/1922"

Dimensions

57.7 x 73.5 cm (22 3/4 x 29 in.)

Credit Line

Commissioned by The Art Institute of Chicago

Reference Number

1988.15.13

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

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