Sullivan's City: The Meaning of Ornament for Louis Sullivan

Sullivan's City: The Meaning of Ornament for Louis Sullivan

by David Van Zanten
     
 

An interpretive essay about a much-admired genius of American architecture, with an emphasis on the meaning of ornament in his work and life
Among many books about the person and work of Louis Sullivan, this unusual volume explores the idea that Sullivan's ornament became increasingly central to his architectural enterprise as his career unfolded. It holds that

Overview

An interpretive essay about a much-admired genius of American architecture, with an emphasis on the meaning of ornament in his work and life
Among many books about the person and work of Louis Sullivan, this unusual volume explores the idea that Sullivan's ornament became increasingly central to his architectural enterprise as his career unfolded. It holds that he used ornament to articulate the masses of the skyscrapers he built at the peak of his career and to humanize them in an increasingly hostile cityscape. In his impoverished old age, when important commissions no longer came to him, fully developed and exquisite pencil drawings of ornament served as a surrogate for the great projects he was no longer able to carry out. Cervin Robinson's beautiful photographs of Sullivan's work, supplemented by historical photographs of buildings no longer standing and reproductions of plates from Sullivan's crowning achievement, his book of drawings System of Architectural Ornament, illustrate the text by art historian David Van Zanten.

Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Dozens of b&w drawings and color photographs emphasize the special features of Sullivan's uniquely ornamental architecture. This book describes the way that he evolved from a skyscraper designer in the late 19th century (where ornament provided scale and quality to his work), to a designer of humane concepts in the increasingly harsh cityscape of Chicago. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780393730388
Publisher:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
08/28/2000
Edition description:
1 ED
Pages:
176
Sales rank:
906,069
Product dimensions:
8.90(w) x 10.50(h) x 0.90(d)

Meet the Author

David Van Zanten lives in Evanston, Illinois.

Cervin Robinson lives in New York City.

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