Pair of elevator grilles, frieze, and overgrille, c. 1893-1894

The Chicago Stock Exchange Building, for which these grilles were made, was one of Adler and Sullivan's last commissions before the firm dissolved in 1895. The repeating motif of spheres on the arms of an X within ovals inside a circle is echoed in the frieze above the grille and in the overgrille. Sullivan conceived this design as a series of "seed germs" bursting from their pods, an idea found in his prose poem "Inspiration" of 1886, in which he compared the metamorphosis of a seed into a plant to that of basic forms into a structure.

Pair of elevator grilles, frieze, and overgrille
Artist Life
Accession Number
Curator Approved

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