The Spirit of ’76 Statue

June 16, 2018

By Janet Dodrill

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

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

An unusual object has been passed down in the family – a “Spirit of ’76” statue. I had know little about it, even after showing it to three local auction houses, until one day a couple months ago. I believed it had been given to my great-grandfather, Hugo M. Schmitz, by Archibald Willard, the Ohio artist who painted the Spirit of ’76. The two met in the late 1800s and both attended and exhibited at Cleveland’s Art Club, of which Willard was president.

The porcelain statue measures approximately 11″ W x 12″ H and is hand-painted.

Because of my mention of it in my 2/27/2017 blog post, my image of the statue shows up in a Google search for “spirit of 76 statue,” which may be how a woman in Texas came to contact me regarding her similar statue. What are the odds?

The Spirit of '76 statue owned by the Texas woman, who contacted me in April, 2018.

The Spirit of ’76 statue owned by the Texas woman, who contacted me in April, 2018.

The woman sent photos and provided a link to the Bedford Historical Society, in Bedford, Ohio (Archibald Willard’s birthplace), who apparently also owns a statue and has a web page about the manufacturer. The page states that the statue was manufactured by the Bailey-Walker China company in 1926 (which became the Walker China company in 1942) of Bedford, Ohio. Her statue was almost identical to ours. And after a trip to the Bedford museum I was able to confirm that theirs was also the same. (I learned at the museum that Willard’s own father was the model for the center drummer figure.)

The Bedford Historical Society, in the historic former town hall building, Bedford, Ohio.

The Bedford Historical Society, in the historic former town hall building, Bedford, Ohio.

Additional information had been passed down to the Texas woman by her grandmother regarding her statue in a note which she shared with me. It said that Bailey-Walker China produced a limited edition of 100 of these statues, made of fine china, which sold for $40 a piece at the time, and some retailers offered them for $120. Some of the statues went to Europe.

However, now the idea that our statue had been given to my great-grandfather is in question because Archibald Willard died in 1918, eight years before the statue is known to have been produced. Was ours a prototype made years in advance of production? it is signed on the bottom, and the other two aren’t. That would explain things. Or was it given to my grandfather, Warren R. Schmitz, maybe by Mr. Willard’s family? Who acquired it from where, and when? These are questions from the past that are fun to unravel, as I continue to learn about it.

Spirit of '76 statue manufactured by the Bailey-Walker China company, owned and on display at the Bedford Historical Society, which I visited in April, 2018.

Spirit of ’76 statue manufactured by the Bailey-Walker China company, owned and on display at the Bedford Historical Society, which I visited in April, 2018.

The grandmother’s note also said that when those who possess the statue are known to each other it is hoped to cement a very warm and lasting friendship.

So far we know there are two in Ohio and one in Texas! Are there any more out there?

 

 

 

 

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Old House Journal article includes Schmitz-Horning Co.

May 26, 2018

By Janet Dodrill

Old House Journal, May 2018, cover.

Old House Journal, May 2018, cover.

Schmitz-Horning Company was included in an article on scenic wallpapers in established old house restoration magazine, Old House Journal magazine, May 2018 issue.

The tasteful article, by Brian E. Coleman, displays a variety of high end wall coverings including hand painted paper.

Schmitz-Horning’s San-kro-mura™ line is mentioned, which stood for sanitary or washable, color, chromolithograph mural. Images of the Villa Medici wallpaper pattern and 1917 catalog page for The Lombardy appear.

The Schmitz-Horning Company patented the printed frieze for walls in 1906 (https://patents.google.com/patent/US830931).

 

Resources:

Old House Journal magazine
www.oldhouseonline.com

Old House Journal, Scenic Wallpapers, May 2018
www.oldhouseonline.com/articles/scenic-walls

Printed Frieze for Walls
patents.google.com/patent/US830931

 

Old House Journal magazine, May 2018 issue, scenic wallpapers article, page 29.

Old House Journal magazine, May 2018 issue, scenic wallpapers article, page 29.

 

Printed frieze for walls patented by Schmitz-Horning Co.

Printed frieze for walls patented by Schmitz-Horning Co.

 

Schmitz-Horning's The Lombardy wallpaper pattern, from the 1917 catalog.

Schmitz-Horning Co. The Lombardy wallpaper pattern, from the 1917 catalog.

 

Schmitz-Horning's Villa Medici scenic mural, San-Kro-Mura line.

Schmitz-Horning’s Villa Medici scenic mural, San-Kro-Mura line.

 

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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

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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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Cooper Hewitt’s Object of the Day, Schmitz-Horning Co. 1913-1914 Catalogue

March 11, 2018

By Janet Dodrill

The Outside Comes Inside, Cooper Hewitt's Object of the Day, the Schmitz-Horning Company Catalogue.

The Outside Comes Inside, Cooper Hewitt’s Object of the Day, the Schmitz-Horning Company Catalogue.

Cooper Hewitt’s recent Object of the Day (December 17, 2017), The Outside Comes Inside, featured Schmitz-Horning Company’s San-Kro-Mura wall decoration catalogue from 1913-1914.

The Object of the Day webpage contains color images of selected catalogue pages and a brief audio recording about it and the company.

The Schmitz-Horning Company, established in 1905 in Cleveland, Ohio, designed and manufactured full-color chromolithograph high quality washable wall coverings, murals, decorative room panoramics, and friezes.

The wall decoration catalogue is available as part of an “adoption” program to gain funding to support the preservation of this book and others at the museum.

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum currently has over 100 pieces in their collection from the Schmitz-Horning Company – the major collection was a gift from the Wallpaper Council, Inc. of New York, NY.

Schmitz-Horning was co-founded by Hugo M. Schmitz (my great-grandfather) and William Horning, artists and lithographers. It is believed the two became acquainted in the late 1800s in and around the Cleveland Art Club and artist’s community. Mr. Horning sold his interest in the company in 1920. Around 1926, Warren R. Schmitz (my grandfather), became vice president of the firm and assisted in company sales. In 1938 he became president of the company until it closed in 1960.

The Forest wall mural theme, Schmitz-Horning Co., 1914 catalogue

The Forest wall mural theme, Schmitz-Horning Co., 1914 catalogue

 

Hollyhocks wall mural theme, Schmitz-Horning Co. 1914 catalogue.

Hollyhocks wall mural theme, Schmitz-Horning Co. 1914 catalogue.

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Selected Schmitz-Horning Company Links at Cooper Hewitt:

Cooper Hewitt’s recent Object of the Day (December 17, 2017) The Outside Comes Inside, Schmitz-Horning Co. 1913-1914 Catalogue
cooperhewitt.org/2017/12/17/the-outside-comes-inside

The Schmitz-Horning Co.
collection.cooperhewitt.org/people/18046573

Cooper Hewitt WALLCOVERINGS
cooperhewitt.org/tag/wallcoverings


William Horning, Schmitz-Horning Co., Artist and Lithographer

December 22, 2017

By Janet Dodrill

William Horning, Floral Still Life, oil on canvas, 27" x 33"

William Horning, Floral Still Life, oil on canvas, 27″ x 33″

William Horning, was a partner of the Schmitz-Horning Company, a lithographic wall covering and mural manufacturing firm in Cleveland, Ohio founded around 1905.

His name appeared on a 1906 patent for a printed repeat pattern wall frieze (US 830931 A), along with that of Hugo Max Schmitz I (my great-grandfather), and Warren R. Cox (family friend and head salesman).

William (Bill) Horning was a Cleveland area artist and lithographer, in addition to Hugo.

He sold his interest in Schmitz-Horning around 1920, but continued to work in the printing industry in the Cleveland area.

He was referred to as a landscape, marine, and animal painter of Cleveland (Cuyahoga area), and exhibited with the Cleveland Art Club and the Water Color Society of Cleveland starting in 1894. He led and evening sketch class at the Cleveland Art Club in 1895. That is around the time that my great grandfather Hugo M. Schmitz, who moved to Cleveland from Wisconsin, attended the group. They may have met there before starting Schmitz-Horning Co. not long thereafter.

In 1930 he participated in an exhibition of water colors by members of the Cleveland Society of Artists, a group who held member exhibits semi-annually. Carl Broemel, who created art for many murals for Schmitz-Horning, also had paintings in the exhibit, and incidentally was hired by my grandparents to paint an oil portrait of my mother as a young girl.

The floral oil painting by William Horning shown sold from the Baldwin-Wallace College collection at Rachel Davis Fine Arts auction in 2009.

 

Sources:

Cleveland Plain Dealer, Sunday, January 26, 1930

Artists in Ohio, 1787-1900: A Biographical Dictionary, by Jeffrey Weidman, compiled & edited by Mary Sayre Haverstock, Jeannette Mahoney Vance, & Brian L. Meggitt, © 2000, Kent State University Press

Rachel Davis Fine Arts

Liveauctioneers.com

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Photo: Rachel Davis Fine Arts

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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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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.

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