Ornamental relief
On View In:
Gallery 300
Artist:   Louis Henri Sullivan  
Title:   Ornamental relief  
Date:   1891-1892  
Medium:   Gilt and painted plaster  
Dimensions:   27 1/2 x 27 3/16 x 1 1/16 in. (69.85 x 69.06 x 2.7 cm)  
Credit Line:   Gift of Roger G. Kennedy  
Location:   Gallery 300  

Combining an office tower and a theater, the seventeen-story Schiller Building (1890-92) was the tallest building the firm of Adler and Sullivan ever constructed. The 1,286-seat theater filled the central portion up to the sixth floor. For the ornamental plaster vaults and panels, Sullivan planned a repeating pattern of stars surrounded by interlocking circles with lush vines and leaves. This theme continued in the large and ornate proscenium arch, which foreshadows the spectacular archway of Adler and Sullivan's Transportation Building for the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893. The color scheme of the Schiller Building Theater was green and gold. As in all Sullivan's architecture, the ornamental motif was repeated throughout the building, both inside and out, to achieve an integrated design. Other fragments of the Schiller Building are now in the Art Institute of Chicago, including sections of plaster ornament from the banquet hall frieze, proscenium vault, and balcony face, and blocks of stringcourse in terra-cotta from the first-floor loggia.

Name:   Sullivan, Louis Henri  
Role:   Designer  
Nationality:   American  
Life Dates:   American, 1856-1924  

Object Description  
Classification:   Architecture  
Physical Description:   Flower-like central medallion surrounded by organic motifs; mounted to a plywood backing  
Creation Place:   North America, United States, , Illinois, Chicago  
Accession #:   98.256.4  
Owner:   The Minneapolis Institute of Arts