Over thirty wall-hung elevations, floor plans, cutaways and architectural designs currently make up the late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century pieces of “XIX: 19th Century Design.” This is a rotating exhibit; pieces are replaced after sale by a different work from the collection of gallery owner David Jameson. The collection now includes a Frank Lloyd Wright and plans for the original Art Institute roof. Most of the plans are Italian and French, with several incorporating variations on a fleur-de-lis. The most important design of this exhibit, according to Jameson, is that of Viollet-le-Duc who is to Paris what Daniel Burnham is to Chicago. About half of the plans on display are for buildings and the other half for functional items such as chairs, wallpaper and even candlesticks. Though it is helpful to have an interest and knowledge of architecture it is not necessary when enjoying the beauty and wonder of the creative process of design. John Gregory Crace’s “Design for Tile Floor” is a colorful pen, ink and watercolor so artistic and intricate one forgets that it is only a preliminary object, secondary to the tile. Owen Jones’ chair design incorporates the entire plan onto a single piece of paper—a typical way designs were sent to manufactures in the late 1800s. The wallpaper designs are beautiful and meticulous, much like the exhibit itself. (Rachel Turney)
Through August 30 at ArchiTech 730 N Franklin Suite 200, (312) 475-1290.