Elevator Door, Chicago Stock Exchange
On View: Decorative Art, 20th-Century Decorative Arts, 4th Floor
In his 1924 book A System of Architectural Ornament, Louis Sullivan compared the metamorphosis of a seed into a plant to the development of his basic design motifs into a full-scale architectural structure. This elevator door, in which repeated small shapes merge into larger forms to produce an intricate, energy-filled overall pattern, illustrates this idea.
The design seems far less elaborate than the dense vegetal design seen in the balustrade panels by Sullivan nearby. Perhaps the difference is due to the intervention of Sullivan’s most famous disciple, Frank Lloyd Wright, who often simplified the designs of his mentor.
Wrought iron, cast bronze, copper
84 1/2 x 41 x 1 in., 125 lb. (214.6 x 104.1 x 2.5 cm, 56.7kg) (show scale)
Gift of Mrs. H. A. Metzger, by exchange
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Winslow Brothers Company. Elevator Door, Chicago Stock Exchange, 1893. Wrought iron, cast bronze, copper, 84 1/2 x 41 x 1 in., 125 lb. (214.6 x 104.1 x 2.5 cm, 56.7kg). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Mrs. H. A. Metzger, by exchange, 2012.10. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, CUR.2012.10_documentation_Chicago_Stock_exchange_1963_HABS_photograph.jpg)
documentation, Chicago Stock Exchange (demolished 1972), CUR.2012.10_documentation_Chicago_Stock_exchange_1963_HABS_photograph.jpg
. Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, 1963
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