Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

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terracotta ornaments for the Capitol Building and Loan Association, Topeka, Kansas
  • George Grant Elmslie
    1869–1952
    born: Huntly, Scotland, United Kingdom ; died: Chicago, Illinois, United States
  • terracotta ornaments for the Capitol Building and Loan Association, Topeka, Kansas, 1922–1924
  • Where object was made: Topeka, Kansas, United States
  • terracotta
  • Object Height/Width/Depth: 46 x 43 x 22.5 cm
    Object Height/Width/Depth: 18 1/8 x 16 7/8 x 8 7/8 in
  • Gift of Topeka Capitol Savings and Loan Co.
  • On view: Gallery 401
  • 1970.0194
Label Text
Literature
Exhibitions

Mobile App Exhibition Label:
"Empire of Things", 15-Oct-2016
Elmslie designed these ornaments for the Capitol Building and Loan Association (now Capital Federal Savings) building in Topeka, which was built in 1922 and destroyed in 1968. Like other Prairie School (a late 19th- and early 20th-century Midwestern American architectural movement) architects, including Frank Lloyd Wright, Elmslie drew inspiration from his mentor Louis Sullivan, who developed new and modern multi-story buildings for the Midwestern urban populaces that were adorned with ornamental details derived from natural forms. Elmslie’s terracotta ornaments were made from molds and are very “Sullivanesque” in style. These two pieces probably embellished a doorway and faced each other.


Archive Label 1999:
A disciple of Louis Sullivan, Elmslie designed the bank building in Topeka on which these two ornamental tiles stood. This unusual building had a pitched roof that was meant to suggest an image of the bank as home. These ornaments made from molds are covered with organic and abstract designs based on nature. These two pieces probably adorned a doorway and faced each other.