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Staircase Baluster

Designed by Louis Sullivan, American, 1856 - 1924, and George Elmslie, American (born Scotland), 1871 - 1952. Made for the Schlesinger and Mayer Store, now Carson, Pirie, Scott and Company, Chicago.

Geography:
Designed in Chicago, Illinois, United States, North and Central America

Date:
1899-1904

Medium:
Copper-plated cast iron

Dimensions:
39 x 9 7/8 x 1 inches (99.1 x 25.1 x 2.5 cm)

Curatorial Department:
American Art

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:
1972-225-3

Credit Line:
Gift of Carson, Pirie, Scott and Company through the Art Institute of Chicago, 1972

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Label:
This baluster, one of a set, was created as part of the highly ornamented design for the Schlesinger and Mayer (now Carson, Pirie, Scott) department store in Chicago. The first department stores in the United States opened in the 1860s and their success brought intense competition, reflected in the extravagant buildings designed to house them. Architect Louis H. Sullivan designed the Schlesinger and Mayer store, which was particularly ornate and modern. Although much of the ornament was executed by George Elmslie, one of the Sullivan firm's designers, it adhered to Sullivan's sinuous, Art Nouveau style.

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