Archibald Willard, Friend to Hugo Max Schmitz of Schmitz-Horning Co.

February 27, 2017

By Janet Dodrill

Hugo Max Schmitz I (late 1800s).  (Schmitz family archives)

Hugo Max Schmitz I (late 1800s). (Schmitz family archives)

It is believed that in the 1890s, a promising artist left his family and relatives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and made his way to Cleveland, perhaps attracted to its thriving art community. He was Hugo Max Schmitz (1867-1938), my great grandfather, and in his mid-30s. Hugo, of German descent, joined Cleveland’s Art Club (formerly know as The Bohemians) and attended regular drawing sessions in its location above City Hall, and participated in their exhibits and possibly traveled abroad with other artists.

President of the established Art Club (and also co-founder and trustee) at the time was notable northeast Ohio artist Archibald MacNeal Willard (1836-1918). He was best known for his painting of The Spirit of ’76. He was born in Bedford, Ohio and at the age of 17 moved to Wellington, Ohio. There is a museum in Wellington in his honor.

Photo portrait of Archibald Willard, restored (Schmitz family archives).

Photo portrait of Archibald Willard, restored (Schmitz family archives).

Archibald Willard was a prolific artist who worked in a variety of mediums and subject matters. He was a talented portrait artist as well as landscape artist.

In addition to the Wellington museum, several Cleveland museums carry his work including the Cleveland Museum of Art and Cleveland History Center/Western Reserve Historical Society. A dedicated plot just east of Cleveland City Hall is known as Willard Park.

A search in Cleveland’s The Plain Dealer archived newspaper articles, resulted in stories about Cleveland artists which included Archibald Willard and photos of him working in his studio.

Archibald MacNeal Willard in his studio (Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer, December 17, 1899, Several of Cleveland's Well Known Artists Seen At Work In Their Studios).

Archibald MacNeal Willard in his studio (Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer, December 17, 1899, Several of Cleveland’s Well Known Artists Seen At Work In Their Studios).

He had a friendship with Hugo, and gave him a portrait photo of himself, plus as a wedding gift in 1902 an original landscape oil painting, which resembles the area’s Chagrin River. In addition my great grandfather received a small statue of The Spirit of ’76 from Mr. Willard, which may be a one of a kind working prototype in porcelain by Stanway.

Hugo Max Schmitz co-founded the Schmitz-Horning Company in 1905, a well-regarded scenic wall paper and mural manufacturing firm, and was president of the company until 1938, when his son Warren Reynolds Schmitz ran it until the company’s closing around 1960.

Landscape oil painting by Archibald Willard (Schmitz family archives).

Landscape oil painting by Archibald Willard (Schmitz family archives).

Statue of Spirit of '76 by Archibald Willard (Schmitz family archives).

Statue of Spirit of ’76 by Archibald Willard (Schmitz family archives).

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Paul A. Meunier, Artist at Schmitz-Horning Company

August 22, 2016

By Janet Dodrill

Paul A. Meunier

Paul A. Meunier. Source: The Plain Dealer

Paul Alfred Meunier (1906-1978) was an artist who worked in the lithographic printing industry. He came to Cleveland to study art, studying at John Huntington Polytechnic Institute and at the Cleveland School of Art. For 11 years, he worked at Cleveland’s lithographic mural and wall decoration business, Schmitz-Horning Company, which was co-founded around 1905 by my great-grandfather, Hugo M. Schmitz, and later run by my grandfather, Warren R. Schmitz, beginning in 1938. They employed many area artists. During the time span that Paul worked there (1927-1938), Hugo Schmitz served as president and Warren as vice president. Two of Paul’s uncles also worked at Schmitz-Horning, Ovid (Otto) Meunier for 25 years, and Laurence Meunier (Ovid’s brother) for 7 to 10 years.

Paul A. Meunier served as R.E. May Inc. owner and president, 1938-1977. Source: RE May website (brochure, Plant Tour Thru R. E. May Inc.)

Paul A. Meunier served as R.E. May Inc. owner and president, 1938-1977. Source: R.E. May Inc. website

In 1938 he became owner president of R.E. May Inc. (after being established in 1937 by Richard E. May and following his unexpected death), a litho plate company located on E. 24th Street in Cleveland, until he sold the firm in 1977. The company is still in existence today. A favored Schmitz-Horning western mural (a small-scale version) was displayed in his office reception area, entitled Wells Fargo, a wall covering pattern that is in the collection of the Western Reserve Historical Society (Cleveland History Center). It was possibly donated to them by Paul Meunier.

Reception area at R.E. May Inc. hangs Schmitz-Horning mural, Wells Fargo Source: R.E. May website

Above reception area at R.E. May Inc. hangs Schmitz-Horning mural, Wells Fargo. Source: R.E. May website

Wells Fargo pattern, 5 sections, each 40" x 80".

Wells Fargo pattern, 5 sections, each 40″ x 80″.

I myself worked in the printing industry as a graphic artist in Cleveland in the late 1980s/early 1990s, and we would send negatives to R.E. May for printing plates. They had an excellent reputation even then, but I was unaware of the company’s history or the connection to my ancestors.

Originally from Hunting Valley, Ohio, Paul A. Meunier had a home studio in Gates Mills, and enjoyed painting and creating prints from nature and wildlife. He specialized in painting horses owned by residents of Gates Mills and Hunting Valley. Many of his paintings hang in the Chagrin Valley Hunt Club. He was trustee of Gates Mills Historical Society, and created historical maps of the area. He wrote, illustrated, and published the book, History of Gates Mills, Ohio 1805-1976, as well as contributed illustrations to several other books. One of his paintings hangs in the chamber room at Gates Mills city hall. He showed his work at the annual Gates Mills Art Show, and a special juried award was established in his name, for the art best representing life in Gates Mills.

He served in WWII as a lieutenant colonel.

His great-grandfather was noted Belgian painter and sculptor, Constantin Meunier, who has work owned by the Louvre.

Village of Gates Mills Map by Paul A. Meunier, 1938. Source: Aspire Auctions

Village of Gates Mills Map by Paul A. Meunier, 1938. Source: Aspire Auctions

Map detail. Source: Aspire Auctions

Map detail. Source: Aspire Auctions

paul-a-meunier-gates-mills-map-detail-edition

Map detail. Source: Aspire Auctions

R.E. May Inc. building 1960 Source: R.E. May Inc. website

R.E. May Inc. building approx. 1960. Source: R.E. May Inc. website

paul-a-meunier-re-may-google-2011

R.E. May Inc. building 2011. Source: Google

Holly and Her Friends, Paul A. Meunier, 1974, Aluminum print, 10 1/2" x 14 3/4". Source: Gray's Auctioneers & Appraisers, Liveautioneers.com

Holly and Her Friends, Paul A. Meunier, 1974, Aluminum print, 10 1/2″ x 14 3/4″. Source: Gray’s Auctioneers & Appraisers, Liveautioneers.com

Paul A. Meunier, watercolor or gouache floral painting, 1937, employed at the Schmitz-Horning Co. 1927-1938.

Paul A. Meunier, watercolor or gouache floral painting, 1937, employed at the Schmitz-Horning Co. 1927-1938.

paul-a-meunier-label-1937

Paul A. Meunier artwork label, 1937

Resources:

-The Plain Dealer, February 18, 1978 (Paul A. Meunier Obituary)
RE May Inc. website
-Gates Mills Art Show 2016 Program
Aspire Auctions
Gray’s Auctioneers & Appraisers, Liveautioneers.com
Google
-Schmitz family documents

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Dale Chihuly Glass

March 30, 2016

By Janet Dodrill

Colored glass has always appealed to me. Glassmaking and glassblowing began to amaze me when I was introduced to the work and glass studio artist, Dale Chihuly.

In 1998, my late mother and I went to see ‘Chihuly: The George R. Stroemple Collection‘ at the Akron Art Museum in Akron, Ohio. There, we walked in under a Chihuly Chandelier, and were directed first to see a film on the artist’s background, his drawing and glassmaking process, and worldwide installations – after which we were free to roam the museum’s gallery. It was a spectacular exhibit which included a cross-section of his work, including Drawings, Irish Cylinders, Macchia, Venetians, Laguna Murano, and Seaform sculptures.

A couple years ago visited a local BOSE store and on their big screen TV was a film on Chihuly. It was a great way to showcase the manufacturer’s technology by showing an interesting glass blowing demo so vibrant with color.

Recently, I have been enjoying the glass art sculpture images posted regularly from the Chihuly Facebook page.

To fully appreciate his work I suggest viewing some of the many videos available online. (Some online links are below.)

Better yet, if you get the opportunity to see his work up close, I would strongly encourage it!

Ahuja Azure, Citron and Amber Persian Wall, 2010, commissioned glass sculpture by Dale Chihuly, at University Hospital's Ahuja Medical Center cafeteria, Beachwood, Ohio.

Ahuja Azure, Citron and Amber Persian Wall, 2010, commissioned glass sculpture by Dale Chihuly, at University Hospital’s Ahuja Medical Center cafeteria, Beachwood, Ohio.

Chihuly Website:
http://www.chihuly.com

Chihuly Facebook Page:
https://www.facebook.com/chihuly

Dale Chihuly YouTube Channel:
https://www.youtube.com/user/chihulystudio

Chihuly Workshop YouTube Channel:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCq4z5XFpGwB8EMXucfNcByg

Chihuly Studio Vimeo Channel:
https://vimeo.com/user25444452

The George R. Stroemple Collection
http://www.stroemplecollection.com

Akron Art Museum
https://akronartmuseum.org

(Text and photo copyright Janet Dodrill. Not to be used without prior permission.)

Chihuly Facebook page screen.

(Chihuly Facebook page screen.)

Chihuly Facebook page screen.

(Chihuly Facebook page screen.)

Chihuly Facebook page screen.

(Chihuly Facebook page screen.)

 


Frank Wilcox Exhibit at Cleveland History Center/WRHS

February 29, 2016

By Janet Dodrill

Frank N. Wilcox, Artist As Historian Exhibit

Frank N. Wilcox, Artist As Historian Exhibit

An exhibit of the work of artist, book author, and historian, Frank Nelson Wilcox (1887-1964) is on display at the Cleveland History Center (known as the Western Reserve Historical Society), through April 30, 2016.

The subject matter included farm life and countryside, cityscapes including the Cleveland Flats, Indians (including book illustrations), Ohio waterways and canal barges, and also fishermen, western pueblos, and rivers and mountains.

Exhibit curator, William G. Scheele, of Kokoon Art Gallery, pulled-together a phenomenal collection of paintings (mainly watercolor), drawings and sketches and regional history, which are masterfully organized and displayed. Incidentally, his father, William E. Scheele (1920-1998), was a nature artist in Cleveland which led him to becoming a director at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History during his career. So, ties to the area art scene during Wilcox’s time may be especially meaningful to him.

Frank Wilcox taught design, drawing, painting and printmaking at the Cleveland School of Art for 44 years starting in 1913, after his graduation there in 1910.

Some of the pieces in the exhibit have never been displayed publicly.

Early family photos and work by his wife, Florence Bard Wilcox (a jewelry designer and maker) are also on display in the hallway leading into the main exhibit.

Resource links:

Frank N. Wilcox: Artist as Historian | Exhibit Opening
http://www.wrhs.org/events/frank-n-wilcox-artist-as-historian-exhibit-opening/

Frank N. Wilcox: Artist as Historian
http://canjournal.org/2015/11/frank-n-wilcox-artist-as-historian/

Frank N. Wilcox, Artist As Historian Exhibit at the Cleveland History Center

Frank N. Wilcox, Artist As Historian Exhibit at the Cleveland History Center

Frank Wilcox watercolor painting, Ohio canal barge

Frank Wilcox watercolor painting, Ohio canal barge

Frank Wilcox watercolor character studies

Frank Wilcox watercolor character studies

Frank Wilcox watercolor painting, study

Frank Wilcox watercolor painting, study

Frank Wilcox watercolor paintings of the Cleveland Flats

Frank Wilcox watercolor paintings of the Cleveland Flats

Frank Wilcox watercolor painting

Frank Wilcox watercolor painting

Frank Wilcox, Creative Techniques display

Frank Wilcox, Creative Techniques display

Frank Wilcox watercolor painting/study and poster

Frank Wilcox watercolor painting/study and poster

Frank Wilcox watercolor paintings and sketches

Frank Wilcox watercolor paintings and sketches

Frank Wilcox watercolor paintings

Frank Wilcox watercolor paintings

Frank Wilcox, Printmaking & Books display

Frank Wilcox, Printmaking & Books display

Frank Wilcox sketches

Frank Wilcox sketches

Frank Wilcox, Travels

Frank Wilcox, Travels

Frank Wilcox watercolor painting

Frank Wilcox watercolor painting

Frank Wilcox watercolor painting

Frank Wilcox watercolor painting

Frank Wilcox early photo

Frank Wilcox early photo

Cleveland History Center, Western Reserve Historical Society, courtyard

Cleveland History Center, Western Reserve Historical Society, courtyard

 

Copyright article and images. All rights reserved. Not to be used without permission.


Peter Max Continues To Impress!

November 20, 2015

By Janet Dodrill

Peter Max exhibit announcement.

Peter Max exhibit announcement.

During our sunny, warm autumn in greater Cleveland, we were host to a renowned pop artist’s exhibit which warmed the soul! Peter Max had a retrospective of over 125 works of art at the Beachwood Community Center, in Beachwood, Ohio from October 16-25, 2015. Peter Max was available in person for the last two days of the show, to meet the public and to personally sign purchased artwork. I was able to attend the event, and converse with him. On two other occasions I also met him, once at his art exhibit in Little Italy, Cleveland, Ohio, and once at the Rock Hall. On one of those occasions I received a personalized autograph in exchange for a 1971 Peter Max Paper Airplane book that I had brought with me with intentions to have him sign. And, I recall an exhibit of his at Tower City one year that I attended with my late mother, which we both enjoyed.

Personalized autograph from Peter Max.

Personalized autograph from Peter Max.

I am continually impressed with his work, the use of color, and the energy the work transmits. I love the use of broad multi-color brush strokes, and ever-changing subject matter and evolving style.

If his work comes to town again, I will surely go to see it, to be once again inspired.

Resources:

www.petermax.com

(Text and photos copyright Janet Dodrill. Not to be used without prior permission.)

 

Peter Max exhibit at Beachwood Community Center, Beachwood, Ohio. Nearby trees were decorated in anticipation of the exhibit.

Peter Max exhibit at Peter Max exhibit at Beachwood Community Center, Beachwood, Ohio. Nearby trees were decorated in anticipation of the exhibit.

 

Art by Peter Max.

Art by Peter Max.

 

Art by Peter Max.

Art by Peter Max.

 

Art by Peter Max.

Art by Peter Max.

 

Art by Peter Max.

Art by Peter Max.

 

Peter Max exhibit at Beachwood Community Center, Beachwood, Ohio. Nearby trees were decorated in anticipation of the exhibit.

Peter Max exhibit at Beachwood Community Center, Beachwood, Ohio. Nearby trees were decorated in anticipation of the exhibit.

 

Peter Max exhibit at Beachwood Community Center, Beachwood, Ohio.

Peter Max exhibit at Beachwood Community Center, Beachwood, Ohio.


‘In The 216’ Gift Shop

May 19, 2015

By Janet Dodrill

In The 216 gift shop.

In The 216 gift shop.

In The 216 gift shop, which offers locally and Ohio made art and handmade products by local artisans and fine artists, opened in January 2015 and is located in Coventry Village. Store owner Jenny Goe began selling her jewelry at Coventry’s free outdoor summer concert series, and now manages the work of over 40 local artists who sell their wears in her shop. Everything is made in the state of Ohio.

Merchandise includes T-shirts, glass items and jewelry, ceramics, handmade soap, paintings and prints, pillows, and many other creative treasures.

This week I brought some of my note cards, prints and gift bags there for consignment. My original design themes include Cleveland skylines and landscapes, carousel horses of the Euclid Beach Carousel, and naturescapes from the Nature Center at Shaker Lakes. Most of the images are iPad photo art, manipulated using art apps with photographs.

In The 216 Grand Opening Celebration is Thursday, May 28 at 6:00 – 10:00 p.m., 1854 Coventry Rd, Cleveland Heights, Ohio 44118, (216) 862-4830.

In The 216 gift shop community doodle wall

In The 216 gift shop community doodle wall.

In The 216 gift shop

In The 216 gift shop.

In The 216 gift shop, artisan items made in Ohio

In The 216 gift shop, artisan items made in Ohio.

Resource Links:

In The 216 Grand Opening Celebration www.facebook.com/events/1568404900092698/

In The 216 on Facebook www.facebook.com/inthe216shop

Local woman opens ‘In the 216’ shop in Coventry Village www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-f3FVxujE8

In the 216 Opens Retail Storefront in Coventry Village www.clevescene.com/scene-and-heard/archives/2015/01/27/in-the-216-opens-retail-storefront-in-coventry-village

Local woman opens ‘In the 216’ shop in Coventry Village www.newsnet5.com/news/local-news/cleveland-metro/local-woman-opens-in-the-216-shop-in-coventry-village

Jenny Goe launches new all-Cleveland retail store: In The 216 on Coventry www.cleveland.com/entertainment/index.ssf/2015/02/jenny_goe_launches_new_all_cle.html

New shop on Coventry features works by local artists heightsobserver.org/read/2015/02/03/new-shop-on-coventry-features-works-by-local-artists


Google Cultural Institute

April 29, 2015

By Janet Dodrill

Schmitz-Horning Co. Sierras wall mural

Sierras (1913-14) by the Schmitz-Horning Co., Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.

Have you been to the Google Cultural Institute? The Google Art Project section is a diverse collection of art, and there are Historic Moments and World Wonders sections to explore too. The art is searchable by collections, artists, artworks, and user galleries.

In my search on information regarding my great-grandfather’s wallpaper and mural business, the Schmitz-Horning Co., I found four of the company’s mural art samples in Google’s Art Project, which are in the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum at the Smithsonian.

Google Chrome browser has a Google Art Project extension which adds a tab that is refreshed everyday (hourly according to one source) with art masterpieces. You can learn more about the image or download it to use on your computer desktop!

Google Art Project Chrome browser extension

Google Art Project Chrome browser extension

The Google Cultural Institute also enables you to create your own galleries and share with friends. There is also a Featured section of exhibitions and collections. A couple I viewed were the Struggle Ink Exhibiton of public poster art and the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

If you need inspiration or to brighten your day, visit the site! Links in the header allow you to take a tour or watch a video to get started!

Resources:

Google Cultural Institute, www.google.com/culturalinstitute

Smashing Magazine, Smashing Newsletter #133, www.smashingmagazine.com