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System of Architectural Ornament, Plate 15, Values of the Multiple Leaf

A work made of graphite on strathmore paper.

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  • A work made of graphite on strathmore paper.




Louis H. Sullivan
American, 1856-1924

About this artwork

In 1922 a small group of Louis Sullivan’s friends and colleagues gathered at the Art Institute of Chicago and commissioned him to produce a series of drawings illustrating his philosophy of architecture. Completed in the last year of his life, this project—an essay and 20 detailed plates—outlines Sullivan’s belief that ornament was the supreme expression of a designer’s intellect and creative freedom. The resulting 1924 publication, A System of Architectural Ornament According with a Philosophy of Man’s Powers, was highly influential for the next generation of architects in Chicago and remains a powerful expression of Sullivan’s ideals about organic and modern American architecture.


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Architecture and Design


Louis H. Sullivan (Architect)


System of Architectural Ornament, Plate 15, Values of the Multiple Leaf


United States (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Graphite on Strathmore paper


signed and dated at bottom center of design, "Louis H Sullivan fecit Chicago Aug 29th 1922"


57.7 × 73.5 cm (22 3/4 × 29 in.)

Credit Line

Commissioned by The Art Institute of Chicago

Reference Number


Extended information about this artwork

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