This urn was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and produced by James A. Miller sometime between 1898 and 1909. Wright commissioned between eight to ten of these urns for the interiors of several of his clients' houses, including the Dana House in Springfield, the Coonley House in Riverside, his personal studio in Oak Park, Brown's Bookstore in Chicago, and the Waller House in River Forest. This urn was purchased by Marye Jayne Rothermel at a Hinsdale antique shop and later sold to the Chicago History Museum by her sisters.
This copper urn is an example of architect Frank Lloyd Wright's iconic Prairie style furnishings. Wright developed his distinctive architectural style while working for a number of reputable Chicago architecture firms, including Joseph Silsbee and Alder & Sullivan. His Prairie style homes emphasized a unified design, long low lines, and warm tones; and he often designed all of the furniture and decorative elements of his clients' homes himself. Intended to hold dried floral arrangements, this urn has an incised geometric design and warm, burnished tones that complement Wright's architectural interiors. James A. Miller, who produced several of these urns, was a Chicago sheet metal worker. Although only affordable to a few, Wright's homes and interior design had an enormous impact on residential architecture throughout America.