Schmitz-Horning Prints Decorate Family Heirloom

January 22, 2022

By Janet Dodrill

Cleveland-based wallpaper design and printing firm, Schmitz-Horning Co. (1905-1964) printed more than just color lithographic panoramic friezes (patent 1906) and advertising posters. They reproduced illustrations by reputable English illustrators and that sold in London, and possibly New York.

My great-grandfather co-founded the company, and grandfather ran it after him. Some of our relatives had a selection prints from Schmitz-Horning. Our cousin had some that depicted popular nursery rhymes that hung in her classroom that she taught in. Her father owned a small amount of stock in the company early on. He built a custom bar for their family room, and decorated it by mounting some of the printed lithographs. It is still in the family today, and shown below in a recent photograph.

custom bar family heirloom with schmitz-horning company prints

Custom-made bar by family member with applied Schmitz-Horning Co. printed English illustrations.

schmitz-horning company prints

English illustrations printed by Schmitz-Horning Co. mounted on wood face of bar (detail).

schmitz-horning company prints

English illustrations printed by Schmitz-Horning Co. mounted on wood face of bar (detail).

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

#schmitz-horning #schmitzhorningcompany #cleveland #clevelandohio #printing #printer #colorlithograph #chromolithograph #wallfrieze #frieze #wallpaper #wallmural #lithographer #hugoschmitz #warrenschmitz #janetdodrill


Lithography Spells Style For Schmitz-Horning Co., Wallpaper and Wallcoverings Magazine, 1961

November 28, 2021

By Janet Dodrill

Reproduced from the article, Lithography Spells Style For Schmitz-Horning Co. article, Wallpaper and Wallcoverings magazine, Convention Issue, November, 1961.

wallpaper and wallcoverings magazine november 1961

Wallpaper and Wallcoverings Magazine, Convention Issue, November, 1961.

In 1796, when a playwright named Aloys Senefelder invented a new process for publishing his plays and music, he probably never dreamed his method would be used to reproduce hundreds of different things – among them wallpaper scenics.

The process Senefelder invented is called lithography. It was adapted in 1905 by the Schmitz-Horning Co. Cleveland, Ohio, to make wallpaper murals.

The Cleveland firm is the only firm in the United States producing decorative types of scenic papers by the lithographic process. The technique is also used, however, to make photo murals.

Lithography offers two advantages in the production of scenic papers. First, it is comparatively inexpensive, and secondly, there is plenty of latitude in producing various effects. Until recently, Schmitz-Horning scenics were done in a full rainbow of colors with blurred outlines. The new lines, however, have adopted the crisp, simple styling popularized by the more expensive sold screen printed scenics.

schmitz-horning company direct rotary press and pressman 1961

A Schmitz-Horning Co. lithograph “direct rotary” press here “grounds” on a double coat of an oil based paint. Only one color can be printed at a time.

“When Schmitz-Horning first started making scenics, customers liked many colors and complicated designs,” explained Warren Schmitz, company president. “In fact, it took more than two years’ work to complete the plates for just one scenic.”

Some color ways of this scenic were made in 14 printings, one print at a time. The complicated motif of butterflies, flowers and other greenery gave the effect of elaborated detail found in oil painting. This elaborateness has been abandoned by the firm in its new scenics which are painted “color for color,” according to Mr. Schmitz.

Yet today’s S-H murals are being produced in much the same way as they were in 1905 when Hugo M. Schmitz, Warren Schmitz’s father, and Will Horning, a lithographic artist, Founded the firm. Horning sold out his share of the firm in 1921, and it has been run by the Schmitz family since.

lithographic artist frank mayer at schmitz-horning company 1961

Lithographic artist Frank Mayer traces a color area of a new Schmitz-Horning Co. design on a transparent tissue.

Hugo Schmitz was an artist of some note whose work had been hung in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Since worlds of art had long been reproduced by the lithographic process, Schmitz felt that wallpaper scenics could be made in the same way and much more economically than the hand-painted and wood blocked ones then available. So was introduced the first mechanized method of producing scenic wallpapers.

Within the firm’s first year of business, it established a modest distribution throughout the country, with a plant in downtown Cleveland as headquarters. In 1912 Schmitz-Horning moved to a two-story building at 777 E. 82nd St., where it has remained ever since.

In the plant of 15,000 square feet, the firm produces it lines of Murals of American, Lithographed Mural Wallpaper and Mural Maps. Schmitz-Horning was probably the first firm in the country to come out with a map specifically as a wallpaper scenic and called a “Mural Map.”

schmitz-horning company bookkeeper mrs harry james 1961

Mrs. Harry James, bookkeeper at Schmitz-Horning Co. for 37 years, checks a customer file. The firm puts out only its own lines which have been distributed throughout the U.S. for more than 50 years.

Mr. Schmitz estimated that his lithographed murals sell for about one-third to one-half the price of handprinted ones. The lower prices are due to the fact that lithographed wallpaper, although not made at the mass production rates of machine prints, can still be put out much faster than screen printed scenics requiring many hand operations.

The basis for lithography is a simple one: – under certain controlled conditions, oil and water will not mix. This process utilizes a flat printing of roughened zinc in contrast to a raised or engraved surface.

But before a plate can be made, a number of preliminary steps must be taken at the Schmitz-Horning plant. First, a design is needed. Providing these are free lance artists. Sometimes the artist will suggest his own design, while other times Mr. Schmitz will make a definite assignment.

schmitz-horning company president warren schmitz with sanibel pattern lithographic mural 1961

Warren Schmitz, president of Schmitz-Horning Co., stands beside a panel of “Sanibel”, new Schmitz-Horning lithographic mural featuring crisp, clean styling.

The finished art is usually half the size of the murals, which average 10-13 feet in width. Some scenics, however, exceed 20 feet. One well-known Schmitz-Horning design, “Westchester Hunt,” comes in 10 sections and runs a grand total of 11 1/3 feet.

A Black and white photograph of the finished art is blown up to full mural size. The Schmitz-Horning lithographic artist makes a tracing on tissue over the photograph. The tracing is an art in itself, since the artist is using a black and white photograph as his guide and must study the full color sketch to select colors. Each color must have its own tracing.

The tracings are then “rubbed down” on a zinc plate by putting them through a transfer press. The artist now works on the plate with a liquid crayon. Using the tracings as a guide he works in the color values onto the plate. Although a separate plate is required for each color in the design, both the dark and light values of a color can be carried on a single plate.

The plate is next put through a solution of gum arabic to delineate between the print and non-print areas. Parts of the surface protected by crayon are not affected by the chemical bath. But the unprotected surfaces react to the solution and take on an oxide coating. The plate now has the ability to attract and retain water on its surface.

The crayon is removed after the gum arabic bath, and the plate is ready for use. Its printing areas – those originally covered with crayon – pick up and transfer oil inks. The non-printing areas, those carrying a coating of oxide, will pick up and retain water.

Schmitz-Horning has three lithograph “direct rotary” presses plus a smaller press for scenic miniatures. The presses are sheet fed. The plate is attached to a large cylinder and prints directly on the sheets of paper which are carried around a second cylinder. Just one color is printed at a time and paper sheets are fed into the presses by hand.

Wallpaper scenics are but one of the many decorative and useful items reproduced by the lithographic process. May famous artists of past and present have produced lithographic prints which occupy a high rank in the graphic arts. Lithography is also the basis of the offset process used to print blotters, booklets, calendars, programs, greeting cards, children’s books, stationery, sheet music, maps and even cigar bands.

The oil-based paints used in the lithographic process have made Schmitz-Horning scenics automatically washable. “We’ve improved the process throughout the years, but even our earliest efforts could be washed,” said Mr. Schmitz. “A Woman wanted to know how to clean one of our old scenics in her house. I gave her very careful instructions, but the cleaning woman went ahead and washed it with LesToil. It came out beautifully.”

Schmitz-Horning’s new crisp styling is designed to appeal to modern families who want smart decor at a price they can afford, according to Mr. Schmitz. “Lithography still offers the most practical, mechanized method for producing large-scale designs,” he concluded.

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

#schmitz-horningcompany #schmitzhorning #schmitzhorningcompany #wallpaper #wallcoverings #wallpaper #chromolithograph #lithograph #lithographic #cleveland #clevelandohio #wallmural #wallpaper #frieze #wallfrieze #panoramic #landscape #hugoschmitz #warrenschmitz #kro-mura #kromura #san-kro-mura #sankromura #venwood #printing #scenicwallmural #janetdodrill


Schmitz-Horning’s Wells Fargo Scenic Wallpaper

February 29, 2020

By Janet Dodrill

Wells Fargo was a scenic wallpaper pattern manufactured by the Schmitz-Horning Company of Cleveland, Ohio. The pattern can be seen in the late 1950s company line and catalog, Murals of America. It was available in two ink color options and two paper colors choices, pattern numbers 77411, 77412, 77421, and 77422.

The Cleveland History Center of Western Reserve Historical Society has a complete set of this pattern in their collection. Another pattern in the same style and color schemes and by the same artist, was called Anchor Inn. It was considered a companion to Wells Fargo and could be used in the same room if ordered in the same run.

Recently, someone in Pennsylvania contacted me who purchased the Wells Fargo wall mural set from an auction in New Jersey, still in the original box.

Paul A. Meunier, an artist at Schmitz-Horning in the 1930s, who became president of Cleveland’s R.E. May, Inc. (lithographic plate company), had a personal collection of lithographs, and in a 1960s company catalog photo taken in the office, a framed version of the Wells Fargo mural can be seen hanging on the wall.

Specifications (Murals of America catalog):
A washable scenic paper in four sections each 40″ wide by 80″ high. It is a self-finishing “vignette” style mural. The wings L & R are printed on one section which must be cut apart. Lowest point of design starts 6″ from bottom of the paper and extends 45″ high, leaving 29″ of background above highest clouds. Background sections are available to file in at ends, top, and bottom of the mural.

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

Murals of America by Schmitz-Horning

Murals of America by Schmitz-Horning.

Schmitz-Horning Company Wells Fargo scenic wall mural pattern number 77411

Schmitz-Horning Company’s Wells Fargo scenic wall mural pattern, no. 77411.

Schmitz-Horning Company Wells Fargo scenic wall mural pattern number 77411 detail

Schmitz-Horning Company’s Wells Fargo scenic wall mural pattern, no. 77411, detail.

Schmitz-Horning Company Wells Fargo scenic wall mural pattern 77411 detail

Schmitz-Horning Company’s Wells Fargo scenic wall mural pattern, no. 77411, detail.

Schmitz-Horning Company Wells Fargo scenic wall mural pattern number 77412

Schmitz-Horning Company’s Wells Fargo scenic wall mural pattern, no. 77412.

Schmitz-Horning Company Wells Fargo scenic wall mural pattern number 77421

Schmitz-Horning Company’s Wells Fargo scenic wall mural pattern, no. 77421.

Schmitz-Horning Company Wells Fargo scenic wall mural pattern number 77422

Schmitz-Horning Company’s Wells Fargo scenic wall mural pattern, no. 77422.

Schmitz-Horning Company Anchor Inn scenic wall mural pattern number 77311

Schmitz-Horning Company’s Anchor Inn scenic wall mural pattern, no. 77311, a companion paper by the same artist and using the same color schemes.

Murals of America by Schmitz-Horning Wells Fargo pattern

A photograph of the Wells Fargo pattern in Schmitz-Horning Company’s Murals of America catalog.
Catalog description: Wells Fargo is a self-finishing vignette 12′ 8″ in length. It will cut down for shorter walls or will center nicely on much longer walls. There is excellent detail in this mural of a frontier town.

wells fargo mural at r e may litho plate company

Wells Fargo mural hanging in the offices of R.E. May, Inc. litho plate company as shown in this photo from a 1960s catalog. (Source: remay.com)


Paul Meunier, Artist – Yesterday’s New Discoveries

February 28, 2019

By Janet Dodrill

Paul A. Meunier was a Cleveland area artist who enjoyed painted nature and wildlife. He worked on staff as an artist at Schmitz-Horning Company, a wallpaper manufacturing firm, in the 1920s and 1930s. Of interest to me because of my family ties to the company, I published a list o known artists that were employed there.

A couple people contacted me regarding their Paul Meunier artwork.

One had six etched acrylic or plastic panels, two of which have a date (1970) and the artist’s name, acquired locally in Cleveland. (They are available for purchase through my source.)

The other individual purchased a map that Paul Meunier’s created of his family vacation travels from Ohio through parts of the western U.S. (1939). The contact wrote me stated that the lithograph was purchased at a Bay area market.

It’s interesting to see the broad range of work and depth of this artist, and even more interesting to speak to others who have his art work.

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

Etched or engraved plastic art panels by Paul Meunier, 1970, owned by Charlie Grenier. Panel size is approximately 3x4 to 5x7 inches.

Etched or engraved plastic art panels by Paul Meunier, 1970, owned by Charlie Grenier. Panel size is approximately 3×4 to 5×7 inches.

Etched or engraved plastic art panels by Paul Meunier, 1970, owned by Charlie Grenier. Panel size is approximately 3x4 to 5x7 inches.

Etched or engraved plastic art panels by Paul Meunier, 1970, owned by Charlie Grenier. Panel size is approximately 3×4 to 5×7 inches.

Etched or engraved plastic art panels by Paul Meunier, 1970, owned by Charlie Grenier. Panel size is approximately 3x4 to 5x7 inches.

Etched or engraved plastic art panels by Paul Meunier, 1970, owned by Charlie Grenier. Panel size is approximately 3×4 to 5×7 inches.

Name and 1970 date on art panels by Paul Meunier.

Name and 1970 date on art panels by Paul Meunier.

Map created by Paul Meunier of his family trip across the country, owned by Peter Bartels.

Map created by Paul Meunier of his family trip across the country, owned by Peter Bartels.


Karl Germain the Wizard Magic Posters Printed by Schmitz-Horning Co.

April 8, 2018

By Janet Dodrill

In 1908, Schmitz-Horning Company (est. 1905), a Cleveland, Ohio lithographic printing company, manufactured a series of large color lithographic advertising posters for professional magician Karl Germain. Additionally printed was a brochure.

Karl Germain (Charles Mattmuller), 1878-1959, was a native of Cleveland, and performed unique magic of his own creation in both America and England until his stage career ended prematurely in 1916 due to blindness.

These posters, and those of other magicians, have become highly collectible in ‘magicana’ collections (antiques and collectibles related to magic and magicians). Several international auction houses (and eBay) have offered these rare magic lithographs, and other wall murals by the Schmitz-Horning Company, for sale since around 2010.

Potter & Potter Auctions of Chicago, Illinois has auctioned dozens of Schmitz-Horning Co. Karl Germain magic posters.

Recently, one of the Karl Germain’s magic posters became available in Google Arts & Culture for the public to enjoy and learn about.

Schmitz-Horning was known for their early large scale capacity printing presses. At the time they owned two of three such custom-built presses in the world, and the 40″ x 80″-plus plates were shipped-in from Germany.

Resources:

Potter & Potter Auctions
Google Arts and Culture, American Museum of Magic

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

Germain the Wizard Coming Events Cast Their Shadows Before Poster

Germain the Wizard Coming Events Cast Their Shadows Before, three-sheet, 1908, 41″ x 76 1/2″, 1908, (Photo: Potter & Potter Auctions)

Germain the Wizard Magic Poster

Germain the Wizard, 1908, 27 3/4″ x 42″, color lithograph (Photo: Potter & Potter Auctions)

Germain the Wizard Witch’s Cauldron Poster

Germain the Wizard, Witch’s Cauldron, 1908, 85″ x 44″, stone lithograph (Photo: Google Arts and Culture, American Museum of Magic)

Germain The Wizard

Germain the Wizard, Witch’s Cauldron Detail, 1908, Schmitz-Horning Co. lithograph (Photo: Google Arts and Culture, American Museum of Magic)

Germain The Man Who Mystified All Of London Poster

Germain, the Man who Mystified All of London, three-sheet, 1908, 76 1/2″ x 41″, color lithograph (Photo: Potter & Potter Auctions)

Germain the Master of Magic

The Master of Magic, Germain, 1908, 43″ x 28″, color lithograph (Photo: Potter & Potter Auctions)

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Former Schmitz-Horning Company Building Destroyed by Fire

January 24, 2017

By Janet Dodrill

schmitz-horning-company-cleveland-ohio-plant-about-1925

The Schmitz-Horning Company building, Cleveland, Ohio, about 1925. (Schmitz family archives)

In April 2011 when I began my research into family-owned Schmitz-Horning Company (Cleveland, Ohio, 1905-1960), a prominent high-end mural and wall covering manufacturer and printer (co-founded and run by my great-grandfather and later by my grandfather), two things happened. First, I discovered a black and white photograph of the building from around 1925 in our family documents. Second, after Googling the building’s address of 777 E. 82nd Street in Cleveland, search results showed it was being occupied by an industrial chemical company, and the building looked well maintained from the photo on Google street view.

777 E. 82nd Street, Cleveland, Ohio Photo: Google, 2007

777 E. 82nd Street, Cleveland, Ohio
Photo: Google, 2007

Excited about the find, it was my intention to go see the building. Several months rolled by and I Googled the business address again and many recent articles dated June 27, 2011 came up stating that an accidental fire had destroyed the building, most likely started by roofers, drawing 60 firefighters from 15 departments — a triple three alarm fire! Fortunately, no one was injured.

777 E. 82nd Street, Cleveland, Ohio Photo: Cleveland.com, June 27, 2011

Fire at 777 E. 82nd Street, Cleveland, Ohio
Photo: Cleveland.com, June 27, 2011

Initially, the owner announced plans to rebuild on the same site but renovated offices were built directly across the street in other facilities owned by the company. The site where the building once stood is today a lot for parking and storage of machinery and equipment.

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

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Artistic Prints and Note Cards by Janet Dodrill

November 24, 2016

By Janet Dodrill

Euclid Beach Carousel iPad art image by Janet Dodrill

Euclid Beach Carousel iPad art image by Janet Dodrill.

Looking for a unique artisan gift? You can find my note cards and prints in local Cleveland shops listed below. The themes include Cleveland landmarks, carousel horses from the Euclid Beach Carousel, nature scenes from the Nature Center at Shaker Lakes, Chagrin Falls landmarks, and other subjects.

The images are photography that is manipulated using iPad art apps, and some are then put into graphic design layouts.

 

 

 

Shops:

Fireside Book Shop, 29 N Franklin St, Chagrin Falls, OH 44022, www.firesidebookshop.com (Note cards)

In The 216 shop, 1854 Coventry Road, Cleveland Heights, OH 44118, www.facebook.com/inthe216shop (Note cards, matted & loose laser prints, coloring pages)

Mac’s Backs-Books, 1820 Coventry Road, Cleveland Heights, OH 44118, www.macsbacks.com (Note cards)

Native Cleveland gift shop, 15813 Waterloo Road, Cleveland, OH 44110, www.nativecleveland.com (Note cards)

Stars on Blue, 165 E. Aurora Road, Northfield, OH 44067,www.facebook.com/StarsonBlue (Note cards, matted images, coloring pages)

The Duck Pond gift shop, Nature Center at Shaker Lakes, 2600 S. Park Blvd., Cleveland, OH 44120, www.shakerlakes.org (Note cards)

Western Reserve Historical Society gift shop, 10825 East Boulevard, Cleveland, Ohio 44106, www.wrhs.org (Note cards, matted & loose laser prints, coloring pages)

Visit my ETSY shop for a limited amount of original lino-cut prints at janetdodrill.etsy.com.

Chagrin Falls iPad art image by Janet Dodrill

Chagrin Falls iPad art image by Janet Dodrill.

Cleveland prints by Janet Dodrill

Cleveland prints by Janet Dodrill.

Cleveland note cards by Janet Dodrill at In The 216 gift shop

Cleveland note cards by Janet Dodrill at In The 216 gift shop.

Chagrin Falls note cards by Janet Dodrill at Fireside Book Shop

Chagrin Falls note cards by Janet Dodrill at Fireside Book Shop.

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Glenn M. Shaw, Established Mural Artist Designed for Schmitz-Horning Co.

September 27, 2016

By Janet Dodrill

The Old Canal by Glenn M. Shaw, small-scale salesman sample, chromolithograph, 4-panel pattern.

The Old Canal by Glenn M. Shaw, small-scale salesman sample, chromolithograph, 4-panel pattern.

The Old Canal detail.

The Old Canal detail.

Glenn Moore Shaw was a local Northeast Ohio commercial artist, who had a studio in Lakewood, Ohio, and he designed a number of patterns for the Schmitz-Horning Company, sometime between the 1930s and 1950s. His artist wife Elsa Vick Shaw also designed for the company. Both had a friendly and close working relationship for a number of years with my grandfather, Warren Reynolds Schmitz, who ran Schmitz-Horning from 1938 to 1960.

The scenic designs included five illustrated maps (which were said to be accurate), The Old Canal (or Canal Days) wallpaper or wall mural pattern set which depicts the Ohio & Erie Canal between Cleveland and Bath, Ohio, and Old Dominion wall mural pattern which was a set of seven panels. Each panel in the Old Dominion pattern was 30” x 80” plus, printed in multi-color chromolithograph, to be trimmed at the desired height.

Old Dominion by Glenn M. Shaw, chromolithograph, 7-panel pattern, each 30" x 80"+.

Old Dominion by Glenn M. Shaw, chromolithograph, 7-panel pattern, each 30″ x 80″+.

Old Dominion detail.

Old Dominion detail.

Shown is a section of the pictorial map Glenn Shaw designed called Robinson Crusoe, which is part of a collection of Schmitz-Horning wall coverings at the Smithsonian’s Cooper Hewitt Design Museum (a gift from the Wallpaper Council, Inc.).

In addition to professional fine art painting and printmaking, he taught mural painting and advertising design at the Cleveland School of Art for 35 years, and painted murals in three post offices, Canton, Warren, and Perrysburg, Ohio.

Robinson Crusoe Pictoral Mural Map, one panel 40" x 60", designed by Glenn M. Shaw. Above catalog illustration, below section of actual paper (photo: Cooper Hewitt).

Robinson Crusoe Pictoral Mural Map, one panel 40″ x 60″, designed by Glenn M. Shaw. Above catalog illustration, below section of actual paper (photo: Cooper Hewitt).

Resources:

Schmitz family documents

Wikipedia

Ohio Post Office Artwork Collection
http://www.wpamurals.com/ohiopoart.htm
http://www.wpamurals.com/ohio.htm

AskArt
http://www.askart.com/artist/Glenn_Moore_Shaw/109732/Glenn_Moore_Shaw.aspx

Elsa Vick Shaw, The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History
http://ech.case.edu/cgi/article.pl?id=SEV

Glenn Moore Shaw, The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History
http://ech.case.edu/cgi/article.pl?id=SGM

Cooper Hewitt Design Museum Links:

Smuggler’s Cove, Scenic Mural/Map Panel, 1950 (by Glenn M. Shaw)
http://www.cooperhewitt.org/2015/07/05/decorative-wall-map/
https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18431523/with-image-6098/
https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18431521/
https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18431523/with-image-91433/

Pioneer America, Scenic Mural/Map Panel, 1930–40 (by Glenn M. Shaw)
https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18431531/
https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18431533/
https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18431533/with-image-95057/
https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18431533/with-image-95920/
https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18431533/with-image-95056/

Robinson Crusoe, Scenic Mural/Map Panel, 1930-40 (by Glenn M. Shaw)
https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18431521/

Spanish Main, Scenic Mural/Map Panel, 1930-40 (by Glenn M. Shaw)
https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18431535/

Relief Map of the United States, Scenic Mural/Map Panel, 1930-40 (by Glenn M. Shaw)
https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18431525/

Image from Cooperhewitt.org used under the Fair Use copyright act.

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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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Artists of Schmitz-Horning Company

May 28, 2016

By Janet Dodrill

The Schmitz-Horning Co., a chromo-lithographic wallcovering firm, was in business 55 plus years, from 1905 to 1960. But the company may have started in 1903 as a litho poster production company and then developed their own line of wall murals, friezes, and scenic wall papers around 1905, branded San-Kro-Mura. They offered an attractive yet inexpensive product line, using oil-based non-fading color oil-based inks printed on high quality paper that was sanitary or fully-washable. Later as new scenics and panoramics designed, the brand Kro-mura was created.

They rented space at the Whitney Power Building or Power Block at E. 10th and Power Ave., between St. Clair and Rockwell, and later moved to their own building at 777 E. 82nd Street in Cleveland, near Gordon Park. In 1906 a patent was registered for the ‘Frieze’ by co-owners Hugo Max Schmitz and William Horning, along with their head salesperson, Warren R. Cox. The Frieze was a repeating continuous scene which surrounded the room at the top of the wall. In the early years it would take two years to complete the plates for a single scenic. The 43″ x 83″ hand-fed lithographic presses used were the largest in the world. The company custom built three, Schmitz-Horning had two, the other being in London, England. Zinc plates had to be shipped from Germany.

The company produced some of the largest wall maps in the industry.

Hugo Max Schmitz (1867-1938) (my great grandfather), co-owner, was an artist who came to Cleveland, in his 30s, in the late 1800s, and was from a large German family in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He married Pauline (Queen) M. Reynolds in 1902, who was a society lady. They lived in East Cleveland and later moved to University Heights, Ohio.

Venice pattern, 30" x 10', and original watercolor by Hugo M. Schmitz, Schmitz-Horning co-founder.

Venice pattern, 30″ x 10′, and original watercolor by Hugo M. Schmitz, Schmitz-Horning co-founder.

He was a member of Cleveland’s Art Club, with mostly German members, that met in City Hall. He traveled to Paris and Morocco, and perhaps to Morocco with other artists. In one of these paintings, he painted a cleaning girl from a New York City office building and won an award for it (either second place or honorable mention) at an exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Our family has a couple of his original watercolors and oils, including a portrait he did of my great grandmother. They honeymooned in Venice, and a watercolor he did there became a wallpaper pattern called Venice. He was rated as one of the best litho-crayon artists in the industry.

William Horning, co-owner, sold his interest in the company to Hugo around 1920, but worked as a lithographer in Cleveland.

Warren R. Schmitz (1905-1970) (my grandfather), son of Hugo M. Schmitz, started working at the company after college around 1929 in sales and promotion, and designed sales brochures, books and displays and traveled to various dealers in the U.S. He ran the company after his father’s death in 1938 until it closed around 1960.

After time, the company produced small scale salesman samples of the wallpapers for sales calls. Prior to that they were taking long rolls on calls. The same high quality inks and papers were used on the smaller scale versions. Warren Schmitz modernized the product line, obtaining sketches from prominent artists. New sales promotion aids were printed in-house using a small Harris offset press. In the 1950s he appeared on the TV show ‘What’s My Line?’. The company was also featured on a radio segment called ‘On Location’ with young announcer Virgil Dominic, sponsored by The Illuminating Company.

Chateau de Province pattern, ten sections, each 40" x 80", repeat, designed by Henry G. Keller. Above catalog illustration, below section of actual paper (detail photo: Cooper Hewitt).

Chateau de Province pattern, ten sections, each 40″ x 80″, repeat, designed by Henry G. Keller. Above catalog illustration, below section of actual paper (detail photo: Cooper Hewitt).

Henry G. Keller (1869-1949) was a Cleveland School Artist and taught there. He designed the pattern, Chateau de Province, while in his prime. It was a French rural scenic, and included a chateau, native trees, and a fox hunt of equestrians with horses. It was 10 sections, each near 33″ x 72″.

Carl Fuchs designed Old South, believed in the 1940s, of plantation life in early America, including a steamboat and fox hunt. There were twelve sections, each 40″ x 80″ in repeat pattern.

Old South pattern, 12 sections, each 40" x 80", repeat, designed by Carl Fuchs. Section of actual paper (detail photo: Cooper Hewitt).

Old South pattern, 12 sections, each 40″ x 80″, repeat, designed by Carl Fuchs. Section of actual paper (detail photo: Cooper Hewitt).

Lou Ramacciato, began working at Schmitz-Horning after graduating from Cleveland Institute of Art in 1946, and later went on to work 28 years at the Cleveland Museum of Art restoring art and preparing gallery exhibits.

Robinson Crusoe Pictoral Mural Map, one panel 40" x 60", designed by Glenn M. Shaw. Above catalog illustration, below section of actual paper (detail photo: Cooper Hewitt).

Robinson Crusoe Pictoral Mural Map, one panel 40″ x 60″, designed by Glenn M. Shaw. Above catalog illustration, below section of actual paper (detail photo: Cooper Hewitt).

Glenn M. Shaw and Elsa Shaw had a studio in Lakewood and both worked commercially and taught. Elsa did some design work for them, though Glenn designed a number of patterns for the company, including 5 illustrated maps which were said to be accurate, the Old Canal set which depicts the Ohio and Erie Canal between Cleveland and Bath, Ohio, and Old Dominion which is a set of 7 panels. Each panel is 30” x 80” plus, could be trimmed at the desired height. He is known for painting murals in three post offices, in Canton, Warren, and Perrysburg, Ohio.

Paul A. Meunier was a litho artist, from Hunting Valley, who worked at the company for 11 years. Two other family members worked there, Ovid Meunier for 25 years and Laurence Meunier for 7-10 years. After leaving Schmitz-Horning, Paul became partner then owner at R.E. May, a plate-making company, that is still in existence today on E. 24th Street in Cleveland. I found an old brochure page on their website which shows Paul, and in another photo on the same page is a small-scale Schmitz-Horning western mural, called Wells Fargo. The Western Reserve Historical Society has a full size set of the pattern in their collection.

Wells Fargo pattern, 5 sections, each 40" x 80", repeat (artist unknown).

Wells Fargo pattern, 5 sections, each 40″ x 80″, repeat (artist unknown).

I found a still life watercolor by Paul Meunier on ETSY in 2011, and his name plate appeared on the back of the framing. He painted it in 1937, during the span of time when he worked at Schmitz-Horning. He wrote a book on the history of Gates Mills, Ohio, and there is an award in his name at the Gates Mills Art Show. I read that a painting of his was in the chamber room of their city hall. He enjoyed drawing, printmaking, and painting wildlife and horses.

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.

Ed Sinz worked at the company for 35-40 years. We have Christmas cards, to my grandfather from the sculptor Walter Sinz around the 1940s, possibly Ed’s son or relation.

Here is a comprehensive list of known artists or litho artists that worked at the Schmitz-Horning Co., either on staff or assignment-based, as designer and/or litho artist.

Schmitz-Horning Co. Artists:

Anne Nolan (catalog Illustrator)
August Biehle (?)

Binnie Wilson
Carl Broemel
Carl Fuchs
D.E. Sutton (catalog Illustrator)
Ed Sinz
Elsa V. Shaw
Glenn M. Shaw
Havenstein
Henry G. Keller
Hugo M. Schmitz (Schmitz-Horning Co. co-founder)
Kathy Cass
Kyra Markham
Laurence Meunier
Lou Ramacciato
Ovid Meunier
Paul A. Meunier
Paul Haas
William Horning (Schmitz-Horning Co. co-founder)

Posters and displays were printed for
Advertising Agencies:

Fred Dugar Co.
Fuller-Smith & Ross
H. Stief Company/Harvey G. Steif, Inc.
Lang, Fisher & Stashower

Lotus Garden pattern catalog illustration by B.E. Sutton.

Lotus Garden pattern catalog illustration by B.E. Sutton.

When I began to uncover material from the company in our family home, it sparked my interest. Starting with my first blog post about Schmitz-Horning in 2011, I began writing a series of blog posts, and started to receive many inquiries about the company and patterns. I hope to continue my research and  produce a publication on it one day.

 

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