Louis Henry Sullivan, Stipple Portrait

louis henry sullivan-spot

While I was working away at The Wall Street Journal, producing many of those hedcut stipple portrait illustrations, I was also branching out into the wider freelance world. One day, I received a call from Murray Miller, at The Reader’s Digest. I went to meet him in midtown Manhattan on my lunch hour. Murray was an art director who, along with his fellow A/D, Chuck Chestnut, was tasked with creating the stamp-collector’s first day of issue series that Reader’s Digest were publishing at the time. We worked on many images together. One of the series we covered was on the subject of famous architects. I still have many drawings from this period in my archives. This portrait from that series portrays Louis Henry Sullivan…

louis henry sullivan*

This man was very significant in the architectural realm. According to Wikipedia, Louis Sullivan coined the phrase “form ever follows function“, which, shortened to “form follows function”, would become the great battle-cry of modernist architects. Sullivan himself, however attributed the idea to Marcus Vitruvius Pollio the Roman architect, engineer and author who first asserted in his book De architectura that a structure must exhibit the three qualities of firmitas, utilitas, venustas – that is, it must be solid, useful, beautiful.



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