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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Viktor Schreckengost’s Estate Sale

June 27, 2016

By Janet Dodrill

Hundreds of people showed up within the first couple hours of the estate sale for industrial designer and artist Viktor Schreckengost on Friday, the first day of the three day sale, at his Stillman Road home in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. When I arrived in the first hour, there was a mob of people waiting outside and I was instructed to get number. I got number 153, and they had just called 74, so it turned out I had a couple hour wait ahead of me!

viktor-schreckengost-house-front

Viktor Schreckengost’s house and estate sale in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, June 24, 2016.

Once inside, the house was full from basement to attic of personal household items of the Schreckengosts, Viktor and his wife Gene. It was an incredible feeling just to be in his house, and on the grounds. I left with a few small items that I thought were interesting, and learned by someone at the sale and a member of a Viktor Schreckengost Facebook group that he most likely designed a couple of them.

viktor-schreckengost-creamer

Creamer designed by Viktor Schreckengost.

One item being a plain coffee cup and creamer he designed for Salem pottery with no design. The other being his popular Christmas pattern showing a decorated tree with gifts under it. A pedal car and pedal plane ornaments made good additions to my holiday decorations. I thought a partial metal sign with his initials, V.S., may have been from a childhood toy. Miniature solid colored dishes that he designed but had produced to give as holiday gifts, and I bought five to have. A few small plates were most likely salad plate designs by Vik.

viktor-schreckengost-mini-dishes

Miniature dishes designed for production by Viktor Schreckengost.

There was a room in the house where Viktor had hundreds of seashells and rocks, separated in different boxes, containers and cans. A few of the shell collections were in old cigarette boxes, Marlboro and Viceroy. I thought this was a clever way organize them, using boxes and containers from around the house!

 

viktor-schreckengost-viceroy-shells

Sea shells stored in an empty cigarette box belonging to Viktor Schreckengost.

It was a well-organized and fun event (by Mitchell Attenson Estate Sales), to see what purchases others were walking out with, like a globe, candlesticks, and plate designed by Viktor, a steel yard stick, a teapot, and even a Pantone book!

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

 

viktor-schreckengost-house-front-sign

Viktor Schreckengost estate sale, June 2016.

viktor-schreckengost-ashtray

Christmas ashtray with artwork designed by Viktor Schreckengost.

viktor-schreckengost-cup

Cup designed by Viktor Schreckengost.

viktor-schreckengost-plates

Salad plates designed by Viktor Schreckengost.

viktor-schreckengost-sign

Metal sign piece with Viktor Schreckengost’s initials.

viktor-schreckengost-ornaments

Pedal car Christmas ornaments designed after actual pedal cars by Viktor Schreckengost.

viktor-schreckengost-pedal-cars

Pedal car and plane (reproductions) designed by Viktor Schreckengost.

viktor-schreckengost-shells

Shells, rocks and organic objects in boxes and containers in the attic of Viktor Schreckengost.

viktor-schreckengost-wall-poster

Painted poster in the home of Viktor Schreckengost.

viktor-schreckengost-books

Books belonging to Viktor Schreckengost.

viktor-schreckengost-collectibles

Travel souvenirs and miscellaneous art and objects in the home of Viktor Schreckengost.

 


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.)

 


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


Squaw Rock by Henry Church Jr.

December 13, 2013

By Janet Dodrill

ink sketch by Janet Dodrill of Squaw Rock by Henry Church Jr 1885

Squaw Rock by Henry Church Jr. 1885, ink sketch by Janet Dodrill.

On a walk down a path at the South Chagrin Reservation known as Squaw Rock sits a mammoth-sized rock on the bank of the Chagrin River that was carved by an artist in1885. That artist was self-taught Henry Church Jr. (1836-1908), American primitive painter and sculptor, but blacksmith by profession, from Chagrin Falls, Ohio. Squaw Rock’s formal name is ‘The Rape of the Indian Tribes by the White Man’ and it stands 30 feet high. The carving includes a woman (squaw) surrounded by a snake, a baby (papoose), skeleton, eagle, shield, flag, hatchet, arrows, and dog.

I read somewhere once that Henry used to secretly travel to the carving site by night, working by lantern, in hopes that the rock would be ‘discovered’ one day and believed to be carved by Indians, but I cannot locate the posting again to support this.

In recent years it has been vandalized and damaged. The squaw’s face and breasts have been defaced, and nature has taken its course and the stone face has deteriorated. After Church died, WPA (Works Project Administration) built a base under the rock to protect it from the river. I remember going there as a child, and even though my father was an avid photographer then and I so in more recent years, we have no early photographs, or any for that matter, of the rock at all.

In 1999 I visited the rock and did this ink sketch, as a result of an organized ‘hike and sketch’ event by the parks, which I participated in with my later mother and father who also appreciated his work.

Church carved a lion with a lamb for his own funeral stone, which is currently on long-term loan at the Cleveland Museum of Art, and pre-recorded his own funeral sermon on a wax gramophone cylinder. Though most of his painting were destroyed by his daughter after his death, he is also known for his painting The Monkey Picture (28″ x 44″, oil on paper, mounted on oil cloth, 1895-1900) which is on permanent collection at Abbey Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Center.

Sources:

The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History
http://ech.case.edu/cgi/article.pl?id=CHJ

AskART
http://www.askart.com/askart/c/henry_church/henry_church.aspx

Antiques & Fine Art Magazine (The Monkey Picture)
http://www.antiquesandfineart.com/articles/article.cfm?request=836

The Sculpture Center, Outdoor Ohio Sculpture Inventory
http://oosi.sculpturecenter.org/items/show/945

Photos of Squaw Rock:

The Plain Dealer, Cleveland, Ohio
http://photos.cleveland.com/plain-dealer/2013/11/squawjpg.html

CarCow.com, The Famous Squaw Rock
http://www.cardcow.com/44282/famous-squaw-rock-chagrin-falls-ohio/

South Chagrin Reservation, Cleveland Metroparks
http://hikingohioparks.com/south-chagrin-reservation-hiking-ohio-parks.html


Summer = Art Festivals

June 27, 2013

By Janet Dodrill

Ceramic Tiki Lamps

Ceramic Tiki Lamps

“Art in the Village” at Legacy Village, an arts festival in Lyndhurst, Ohio, brought gifted artisans and craftspersons this year. A few of my favorites included large colored metal garden art for walls or the ground, ceramic lamps with ceramic shades, hanging wind chimes using cut geodes and driftwood (The Stonecutter), large garden flowers out of vintage glassware, china cups, and plates with doorknob centers, incredible layered patterned wood boxes (Natural Renaissance), ceramic Tiki heads, and repurposed cell phones made into whimsical character sculptures (Paladin Workshop). I was ecstatic to find a freehand silhouette portrait artist doing this wonderful but dying art (Igor Nasibyan). If you haven’t been to an arts festival this summer, there may be still time to experience the unique work of many talented artists, possibly in your area.

Ohio Art Fairs and Juried Craft Festivals

Sculptures from Recycled Cell Phones

Sculptures from Recycled Cell Phones

Windchimes made of Geodes and Driftwood.

Wind Chimes made of Geodes and Driftwood