George Elmslie: In the Shadow of Louis Sullivan
December 5 @ 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Richard Kronick will tell the tragic story of George Elmslie, who was Louis Sullivan’s chief draftsman from 1894 to 1909. During those years, the firm’s commissions were greatly reduced, partly because of the economic depression that began in 1893, and partly because Dankmar Adler, who had been an important source of commissions, left the firm. In response, Sullivan drowned his sorrows in alcohol, and as his drinking became more and more pronounced, Elmslie, who was shy and not a self-starter, became Sullivan’s enabler, doing the lion’s share of design work on eight buildings typically credited only to Sullivan. Then, years later, when the historians of Modernism elevated Sullivan nearly to the level of sainthood as the “prophet” of Modernism, Elmslie became an inconvenient truth and was left out of the picture.