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Pilaster Capital, One of Six, from the Bayard-Condict Building, 65 Bleecker Street, NYC

American Art

On View: Steinberg Family Sculpture Garden, 1st Floor

These capitals once graced the upper story of the Bayard-Condict Building, still standing in Manhattan and the only structure in New York City designed by the renowned architect Louis H. Sullivan. Completed in 1898 or 1899, the façade of the thirteenth-story commercial building is still embellished with an exuberant array of Art Nouveau ornament in the form of angels, lions, and plant life. These capitals, removed in a 1964 remodeling of the façade, are also highly organic, with energetically spiraling vine-like tendrils entwined with leaves.

MEDIUM Terracotta
DATES 1898
DIMENSIONS 28 x 36 x 36 in. (71.1 x 91.4 x 91.4 cm)  (show scale)
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in Steinberg Family Sculpture Garden, 1st Floor
CREDIT LINE Gift of Anonymous Arts Recovery Society
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CAPTION Louis Henry Sullivan (American, 1856-1924). Pilaster Capital, One of Six, from the Bayard-Condict Building, 65 Bleecker Street, NYC, 1898. Terracotta, 28 x 36 x 36 in. (71.1 x 91.4 x 91.4 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Anonymous Arts Recovery Society, 64.260.2. Creative Commons-BY
IMAGE detail, CUR.64.260.1-6_detail.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2010
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Pilaster capitals, set of six. The capitals, which consist of clustered and intertwining scrolls, leaves, grapes, etc., originally topped octagonal columns on the storefront level and seemed to pierce the angled glass panels that formed the top of the show window. There were originally twelve capitals in all, four on each of the three columns. The glass storefront was mostly covered up by cinderblock and plaster in the 1940s (apparently in order to weatherproof the glass storefront), and then completely removed during a 1964 renovation, with six of the twelve capitals coming to the Brooklyn Museum. In 2002 the glass storefront facade was restored with reproductions of the original capitals produced by Boston Valley Terra Cotta of Hamburg, NY.
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Pilaster Capital, One of Six, from the Bayard-Condict Building, 65 Bleecker Street, NYC