Sullivaniana collection

Inclusive Dates: 
1780–2008 (bulk 1870–1930)

This record forms part of the Chicago’s Art-Related Archival Materials: A Terra Foundation Resource project funded by the Terra Foundation for American Art. For this project, the Archives surveyed archival repositories throughout the Chicago region to identify art-related materials contained in their holdings. While the Archives of American Art does not own any of the materials described herein, information about those materials and links to the original repositories have been included when available.

Descriptive Summary

9 linear feet (27 boxes), 5 portfolios, 5 oversize portfolios and flat file of materials relating to the life and work architect Louis H. Sullivan, including letters, typescripts, printed papers, and photographs by and about Louis H. Sullivan and his designs and built projects. Also included are images and information about Sullivan’s non-architectural designs. The many photographs documenting Sullivan’s architectural works were made by photographer Richard Nickel.

Biographical Historical Note

Boston native Louis Henry Sullivan was an innovative architect and designer who spent his career in Chicago, much of it in partnership with architect and engineer Dankmar Adler. Sullivan designed iconic commercial buildings in Chicago and other cities, as well as a number of small bank buildings throughout the Midwest. He mentored and inspired architect Frank Lloyd Wright at the start of the latter’s career.

Photographer Richard Nickel began researching and photographing Sullivan’s extant but often neglected buildings, becoming not only an accomplished architectural photographer but an ardent advocate for the preservation of Chicago's early modern buildings.

Additional Notes

Related collection: Donald Robertson Papers, Chicago History Museum.