Baluster Panel, One of Set
On View: Decorative Art, 20th-Century Decorative Arts, 4th Floor
Louis Sullivan had a great many of these panels cast for the grand staircase in Chicago’s Schlesinger & Mayer department store. Although the panels were always intended for interior use, Sullivan had them patinated to appear as though they had weathered over time outdoors, thereby connecting the interior design with the natural world outside. The design for the balustrades exhibits Sullivan’s predilection for carefully controlled geometry and stylized nature typical of his expression of the Prairie School style. The symmetrical leaves and flowers seem to be growing on vertical trellises. The repetition of the closely placed balustrades created a dynamic rhythm up and down the staircase.
Cast iron, paint
40 x 9 3/4 x 2 1/4 in. (101.6 x 24.8 x 5.7 cm) (show scale)
Gift of Carson, Pirie and Scott Co.
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Louis Henry Sullivan (American, 1856-1924). Baluster Panel, One of Set, ca.1903. Cast iron, paint, 40 x 9 3/4 x 2 1/4 in. (101.6 x 24.8 x 5.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Carson, Pirie and Scott Co., 71.42.3. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 71.42.3_PS9.jpg)
overall, 71.42.3_PS9.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2013
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