By Janet Dodrill
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.
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
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Photo: Rachel Davis Fine Arts