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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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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Warren R. Cox, Headed Sales at Schmitz-Horning Co.

July 17, 2016

By Janet Dodrill

Warren R. Cox, early 1900s.

Warren R. Cox, early 1900s.

Schmitz-Horning Company, a former well-established Cleveland wall covering firm, 1905-1960, had a dedicated staff which included head salesman, Warren Richard Cox (1880-1960). In 1906 a patent was granted for the printed frieze for walls, and signed by co-owners Hugo M. Schmitz I (my great-grandfather, 1867-1938), artist and lithographer, and William Horning, lithographer, along with Warren R. Cox (http://www.google.com/patents/US830931).

Hugo Max Schmitz married Pauline Maynard Reynolds (“Queen”) in Cleveland in 1902. In 1905 they had a son named Warren Reynolds Schmitz. It is thought that he was named either after Queen’s brother Warren who died in 1897 at age 18 in a tragic hunting accident, or after Warren R. Cox, a close family friend (or both).

Warren was not only salesman at Schmitz-Horning, but on his own he was an inventor. He created the automobile ignition lock (patent approved 1920), an idea which was apparently sparked by Hugo’s stolen Packard (http://www.google.com/patents/US1334292). The lock was later sold to Ford which helped to finance his entrance into radio. Starting as a ham radio operator, he became a pioneer in Ohio and founded its first public radio station, WHK, in 1921. Prior to founding the radio station, he sold batteries and then radios. He learned there was a lack of radio music available for the general public and the station was formed to create something to play on his radios, which in those days involved live music and entertainment on site. He carried patents for a variety of items.

Warren Cox’s son Wilson married Margaret Elanor Hale, and artist. Her mother, Margaret Zeller Hale (widow of Alcazar Hotel builder George W. Hale) was on a weekend drive with Hugo and Queen Schmitz and died in an automobile crash in 1938 along with Hugo.

Hugo Schmitz and son Warren Schmitz, Wilson Cox (Warren Cox’s son), Hugo’s wife Queen Schmitz, and Elsie Cox enjoy an outing in nature.

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

Schmitz and Cox families.

Hugo Schmitz I and son Warren Schmitz, Wilson Cox (Warren Cox’s son), Hugo’s wife Queen Schmitz, and Elsie Cox enjoy an outing in nature. (Photograph possibly taken by Warren Cox.)

 


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, an 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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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

 

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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.


The National Gallery Online Art Collection

July 18, 2015

By Janet Dodrill

the national galleryThe National Gallery (@NationalGallery) tweeted on July 16, 2015 that now images can be downloaded from their collection for personal use! That got me interested in exploring their website www.nationalgallery.org.uk. Here are a few links to good resources, I discovered there, for the art enthusiast!

Online Collection:
www.nationalgallery.org.uk/paintings

Explore the paintings:
Collection overview, 30 ‘must-see’ paintings, paintings room by room, a virtual tour of over 300 paintings, the picture of the month, the latest loans and acquisitions, and more.
www.nationalgallery.org.uk/view-the-collection

This month, the picture of the month is Peter Paul Rubens, A Roman Triumph, about 1630, with free downloadable wallpaper:
www.nationalgallery.org.uk/upload/img/wallpaper-rubens-a-roman-triumph-ng278.jpg

Download the iPhone app:
www.nationalgallery.org.uk/paintings/learn-about-art

The National Gallery Channel:
Watch video and learn about hidden symbolism in paintings, techniques of the old masters, contemporary artists, impressionism, and more.
www.nationalgallery.org.uk/channel

The National Gallery Podcasts:
Listen to information on Cézanne, Manet, Rembrandt, Bruegel, Monet, Millet, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and more.
www.nationalgallery.org.uk/podcasts

Caring for the paintings:
www.nationalgallery.org.uk/paintings/caring-for-the-paintings

 

wallpaper-rubens-a-roman-triumph-ng278

Peter Paul Rubens, A Roman Triumph, about 1630, wallpaper download from the National Gallery website.