Pilaster Capital, One of Six, from the Bayard-Condict Building, 65 Bleecker Street, NYC
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.
28 x 36 x 36 in. (71.1 x 91.4 x 91.4 cm) (show scale)
This item is not on view
Gift of Anonymous Arts Recovery Society
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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, 64.260.5. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: , 64.260.1-.6_component.jpg)
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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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