Credit: Chrysler Museum of Art
On Jan. 27, a rare print of the Chrysler Building was sold at an Ohio auction to Norfolk, Va.'s Chrysler Museum of Art for $15,000. A period reproduction of a rendering by famed delineator Hugh Ferriss, the print bears the signatures of Walter Chrysler, architect William Van Alen, project manager Frank Rogers, and others. To Janet Parks, curator of drawings and archives at Columbia University's Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library (home to a large collection of Ferriss illustrations), the various dates by the signatures and the different inks used suggest that the print was a production document showing an acceptance by all involved parties of Van Alen's design at the time. The print, which measures 38.5 inches high by 16 inches wide, will not have a permanent display spot at the Chrysler Museum but will rotate in and out of public viewing, says museum director William Hennessey. The whereabouts of the original illustration, which was the third in a series of four that showed the building's design evolution, are unknown.