James A. Patten, a prominent figure of the commodities markets, commissioned Maher, a leading Chicago architect, to design a twenty-two-room house and every element of its interior program. This window is one of a set of three from the monumental entrance hall. Maher’s “motif rhythm” theory entailed the repeated use of certain design elements in varying degrees and proportions. In this case, he chose the indigenous thistle as the principal decorative motif, perhaps as a reference to the owner’s Scottish heritage. Stylized variations of the thistle, juxtaposed with geometric shapes, were generously employed throughout the house in a range of media. Maher also used the thistle motif in the Patrick J. King House, built the same year in Chicago.
The Window was designed and installed in the home of Mr. and Mrs. James A. Patten, and subsequently removed from the house at the time of its demolition in 1938; Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Krause, installed in their house, in Fort Wayne, Indiana, ca. 1942; Dr. and Mrs. Brandt, subsequent owners of the Krause house; private collection, purchased around 1993; purchased by Bruce Barnes in 2006, who is offering it to the Museum.