Louis Sullivan’s Idea by Tim Samuelson and Chris Ware


Louis Sullivan’s Idea by Tim Samuelson. Rachel Freundt @chi_geek on twitter

“The story of Louis H. Sullivan is considered one of the great American tragedies. While Sullivan reshaped architectural thought and practice and contributed significantly to the foundations of modern architecture, he suffered a sad and lonely death. Many have since missed his aim: that of bringing buildings to life. What mattered most to Sullivan were not the buildings but the philosophy behind their creation. Once, he unconcernedly stated that if he lived long enough, he would get to see all of his works destroyed. He added: “Only the idea is the important thing.”

“In Louis Sullivan’s Idea, Chicago architectural historian Tim Samuelson and artist/writer Chris Ware present Sullivan’s commitment to his discipline of thought as the guiding force behind his work, and this collection of photographs, original documentation, and drawings all date from the period of Sullivan’s life, 1856–1924, that many rarely or have never seen before. The book includes a full-size foldout facsimile reproduction of Louis Sullivan’s last architectural commission and the only surviving working drawing done in his own hand.”

384 pages, 300 color plates
$45.00 cloth/jacket

Order a copy today at University of Minnesota Press

Preserving What’s Left of Louis Sullivan’s Idea; A new book that builds on a 2010 exhibit at the Chicago Cultural Center shows the power of Sullivan’s work and why we need to preserve what remains, Rachel Freundt, Chicago Magazine, 9/22/21


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