Louis Sullivan’s designs stand—among stiff competition—as the preeminent exemplars of Chicago School architecture. He brought to his practice a conviction that ornamentation should arise naturally from a building’s overall design, restating, in a large or small way, themes expressed in the structure as a whole.

 

Sullivan (1856–1924) spent much of his career in a late-Victorian world that bristled with busy, fussy ornament for ornament’s sake. He refuted the contemporary style with the now famous dictum that “form ever follows function.” The pieces adapted for reproduction in this notecard assortment combine Art Nouveau complexity with geometric elegance, and in doing so epitomize the Sullivan sensibility.

Louis Sullivan: Ornamental Designs Boxed Note

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