Saturday, September 11, 2010

CHARLES ATWOOD. Marshall Field & Co.

THE USE OF ORNAMENT.  Light and Texture

"Neo-Renaissance."  "Italian Palazzo."  "A little of this and a lot of that......"  Marshall Field and Company's building at Wabash and Washington, designed in 1891 by Charles Atwood for D.H. Burnham and Company, typifies late 19th Century "Style."  It's easy to be overwhelmed by the sheer volume of ornament. We're just not used to it --
Marshall Field.  South Facade.

Marshal Field.  South Facade Detail

Ornament, here, is used not only for decoration.  It establishes texture and rhythm.  The combination of "rough" and "smooth" seen in the upper photograph relies on the rhythmed application of VERY small  scale ornament (below). D.H. Burnham & Company designers used this technique well into the twentieth century.  Peirce Anderson's work at the PEOPLES' GAS  is a late example.


For Chicago Landmark Photographs

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