Elevator grille from the Chicago Stock Exchange Building

Louis Henry Sullivan American
Dankmar Adler American

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 701

Sullivan believed that all architectural ornament should be derived from nature and thus express the geometry underlying all natural forms. As his design work matured, he employed natural motifs in a more abstract and symbolic manner. Sullivan associated ovals with seeds—symbols of life. His powerful use of this form in the ornamentation of the Chicago Stock Exchange Building can be seen on this elevator grille and on the building’s staircases, which were installed in the American Wing in 1980.

Elevator grille from the Chicago Stock Exchange Building, Louis Henry Sullivan (American, Boston, Massachusetts 1856–1924 Chicago, Illinois), Wrought iron and brass, American

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