American, 1867 - 1956
James A. Miller and Brothers, manufacturer (Chicago)
Urn, c. 1903
H. 18 3/4 x Dia. 19 1/2 in.
Frank Lloyd Wright's creative and fertile mind received stimuli from a myriad of sources, including objects from the past that he owned and works he designed, such as this urn. Of the approximately eight urns known today, however, none remains in the original architectural setting for which it was designed. The urn was one of Wright's favorite objects and appeared in a number of his most important commissions. It underscores his desire for a totally integrated environment blending exterior and interior elements together as well as bringing nature indoors. From earlier photographs the urns are seen in situ with ferns, evergreens and bittersweet.
There are two versions of the urn, this being the simpler design. Constructed out of individual sections soldered into place, each urn varies slightly in dimension and shape. Patina is built up with thin glazes of colored lacquer; Wright intended these urns to appear aged. The familiar circle-in-the-square motif reappears in many Wright designs.