More Sullivan Reviews

Blair Kamin reviewed the Sullivan exhibit at the Chicago Cultural Center. He liked it.

Kamin characterized the exhibit as “a major jewel” and gives it all-around high marks, with only minor quibbles. It is worth a visit even for long-time Sullivan buffs — the presentation is immersive and innovative (it would have been impossible to stage this event in this way just two years ago); Tim Samuelson’s characteristic style lends it a unique flavor.

>While the bare bones of this outline will be familiar to architecture buffs, the show’s wealth of objects (about 100 in all, including photos, drawings, renderings, architectural models, letters and pieces from Samuelson’s incredible collection of architectural fragments) more than compensates. The objects are smartly placed alongside photographs that display them in context (at left, a newel post and baluster from the Chicago Stock Exchange Building next to a photo of the structure’s interior) and reveal Sullivan’s mastery of interior space as well as his ability to artfully celebrate (rather than conceal) elements of construction. And you can touch the fragments, unlike in a museum, because Samuelson, undeterred by fears of vandalism, wants you to interact with them, just as you would the ornament of a building on the street. ‘It’s a personal thing between you and the architect,” he said.

In a second blog post, Kamin is able to collect a few bits that could fit into is column. There are great images and a few bits of interesting information.