Hugo Max Schmitz, Newly-Discovered Artwork

November 30, 2019

By Janet Dodrill

hugo max schmitz

Hugo Max Schmitz, photograph, early 1900s (recently-discovered).

On a recent trip out of town to visit my cousins, some items were discovered in my uncle’s possession. Unseen artwork by Hugo Max Schmitz, my great-grandfather, all of which I had not seen before. In a couple of the works, there are similarities to his previously-known work. He was an artist and a co-founder of Cleveland wall covering firm, Schmitz-Horning Company (1905-1964). The stunning painting comparisons are below.

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Watercolor portrait of young girl by artist Hugo Max Schmitz.

Watercolor portrait of young girl by artist Hugo Max Schmitz.

art study by hugo max schmitz

Possibly study for watercolor portrait of young girl by artist Hugo Max Schmitz, oil or gouache, early 1900s (recently discovered).

Self-portrait by artist Hugo Max Schmitz, oil, 1898.

Self-portrait by artist Hugo Max Schmitz, oil, 1898.

self portrait by hugo max schmitz

Self-portrait study by artist Hugo Max Schmitz, oil, early 1900s (recently discovered).


Artist Hugo Max Schmitz from Wisconsin Co-Founded Schmitz-Horning Co.

July 30, 2019
Hugo Max Schmitz, 1930.

Hugo Max Schmitz, 1930.

Hugo Max Schmitz (1867-1938), my great-grandfather, was an artist and co-founder of the Schmitz-Horning Company, a Cleveland wall covering manufacturer. After moving from Milwaukee, Wisconsin around the 1890s, he established himself in Cleveland’s Art Club (formerly know as The Bohemians) and exhibited in group shows. In one exhibit he showed with prominent artist and club president Archibald M. Willard, in addition to artist and lithographer, William (Bill) Horning, who would become his future business partner at Schmitz-Horning.

Hugo had six siblings, born in Wisconsin between 1852 and 1860: Victor, Willam, Edward, Florentine, Mary, and Charles Schmitz, born to father Peter Jospeh Schmitz and mother Mary (Leity).

One day I hope to learn more about his close family relatives and more about his art. We do know that a portrait that he painted of a young girl received an honorable mention in an exhibit at the New York Metropolitan Museum of art.

He married in 1902, to Pauline (“Queen”) Maynard Reynolds, daughter of Cleveland banker Iri Reynolds. They spent their honeymoon in Venice.

Hugo was acting president at Schmitz-Horning Co., est. 1905, and was one of the initial artists for the firm, designing high-end color lithographic wall mural and paper patterns. He ran the company until his death in 1938, and then his son, Warren Reynolds Schmitz took over, who was already working in sales at the company.

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Hugo Max Schmitz as a child.

Hugo Max Schmitz as a child.

Hugo Max Schmitz, age 9.

Hugo Max Schmitz, age 9.

Hugo Max Schmitz, early still life artwork.

Hugo Max Schmitz, early still life artwork.

Hugo Max Schmitz, early landscape artwork.

Hugo Max Schmitz, early landscape artwork.

The Schmitz family of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, late 1800s.

The Schmitz family of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, late 1800s.

Hugo Max Schmitz (center), Paris, 1890s.

Hugo Max Schmitz (center), Paris, 1890s.

Hugo Max Schmitz (right) with his signature pipe, Paris,1890s.

Hugo Max Schmitz (right) with his signature pipe, Paris,1890s.

Hugo Max Schmitz, early late 1800s or early 1900s.

Hugo Max Schmitz, early late 1800s or early 1900s.

Self-portrait by artist Hugo Max Schmitz, oil, 1898.

Self-portrait by artist Hugo Max Schmitz, oil, 1898.

Hugo Max Schmitz’s watercolor of Venice done on his honeymoon, 1902.

Hugo Max Schmitz’s watercolor of Venice done on his honeymoon, 1902.

Hugo Max Schmitz’s watercolor of Venice became a wall mural pattern for Schmitz-Horning Co., early 1900s.

Hugo Max Schmitz’s watercolor of Venice became a wall mural pattern for Schmitz-Horning Co., early 1900s.

Original Wall Mural Design Panels for Schmitz-Horning-Company, Floral Garden by Hugo Max Schmitz, oil, early 1900s.

Original Wall Mural Design Panels for Schmitz-Horning-Company, Floral Garden by Hugo Max Schmitz, oil, early 1900s.

Portrait by artist Hugo Max Schmitz of his wife, watercolor, 1903.

Portrait by artist Hugo Max Schmitz of his wife, watercolor, 1903.

Watercolor portrait of young girl by artist Hugo Max Schmitz.

Watercolor portrait of young girl by artist Hugo Max Schmitz.

Portrait of young lady by artist Hugo Max Schmitz, oil.

Portrait of young lady by artist Hugo Max Schmitz, oil.


90,000 Pipes at Keens Steakhouse

August 18, 2018

By Janet Dodrill

Did you know that there is a popular restaurant in New York CIty with a collection of thousands of pipes? Keens Steakhouse (formerly Keens Chophouse), founded in 1885 in Herald Square Theatre District (now the Garment District), houses more than 90,000 smoking pipes.

How did I learn about this? In documentation written by my late mother about my great-grandfather, Hugo Max Schmitz. I have been researching him and his art career as well as the company he co-founded in 1905 and ran, the Schmitz-Horning Company of Cleveland, Ohio. According to her statement, Hugo was one of the first Greenwich Village artists in the last 1800s. In New York, he had a prize-winning portrait painting exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He also had a pipe hanging at Keens Steakhouse!

Hard clay churchwarden pipes were checked-in and returned to patrons from storage by a pipe warden. Their pipe club included such names as Teddy Roosevelt, Babe Ruth, Will Rogers, General Douglas MacArthur, Robert F. Kennedy, and Buffalo Bill Cody. More recently, online photos show that celebrities have left behind autographed pipes.

Keens Steakhouse

Keens Steakhouse.

Pipes on the ceiling at Keens Steakhouse

Pipes on the ceiling at Keens Steakhouse.

Pipe collection at Keens Steakhouse

Pipe collection at Keens Steakhouse.

John F. Kennedy's pipe at Keens Steakhouse

John F. Kennedy’s pipe at Keens Steakhouse.

Autographed pipes at Keens Steakhouse

Autographed pipes at Keens Steakhouse.

Photos Credits:

Keens Steakhouse www.keens.com

1000 Things NYC www.1000thingsnyc.com

Trip Advisor www.tripadvisor.com/LocationPhotoDirectLink-g60763-d425330-i100087466-Keens_Steakhouse-New_York_City_New_York.html

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Archibald Willard Painting Exhibit at The Spirit of ’76 Museum

July 23, 2018

By Janet Dodrill

Visit The Spirit of ’76 Museum in Wellington, Ohio to see the special exhibit of 22 of Archibald Willard’s paintings, from Dan Zivko’s collection, in honor of town’s bicentennial and 100 years since the artist’s death, through October 2018.

Resources:

The Spirit of ’76 Museum Thespiritof76museum.org

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The Spirit of 76 Museum in Wellington Ohio

The Spirit of ’76 Museum in Wellington, Ohio.

Exhibit of 22 of Archibald Willard's paintings at The Spirit of '76 Museum through October 2018

Exhibit of 22 of Archibald Willard’s paintings at The Spirit of ’76 Museum through October 2018.

Spirit of '76 Statue at The Spirit of '76 Museum

Spirit of ’76 Statue at The Spirit of ’76 Museum.

Archibald M. Willard in his early 40s

Archibald M. Willard in his early 40s.

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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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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.

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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.)

 


Schmitz-Horning Co. Ming Floral Scenic Wallpaper Pattern

January 11, 2014

By Janet Dodrill

Schmitz-Horning Co. Ming Floral Scenic Wallpaper Artist's Rendering.

Schmitz-Horning Co. “Ming Floral” Scenic Wallpaper (Artist’s Rendering).

Recently, I was contacted by someone online who asked if I knew anything about the Schmitz-Horning Company’s “Ming Floral” wallpaper pattern. They stated that their grandfather was a painter/wallpaperer in the 1930s through ’60s, and that he had saved three panels of the wallpaper.

I know the pattern, a lovely one — we had it in a bedroom at our family home where I grew up in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. The house originally belonged to my grandfather, Warren R. Schmitz, who ran the company after my great-grandfather’s (Hugo M. Schmitz) death in 1938.

Schmitz-Horning Co. "Ming Floral" Scenic Wallpaper Panels.

Schmitz-Horning Co. “Ming Floral” Scenic Wallpaper Panels.

The Cleveland-based company employed and contracted with many Cleveland area artists, and I believe that artists/illustrators were used from England and that the paper was distributed there as well. The papers were printed using presses capable of oversized printing, the only of their kind in the country at the time. High quality oil-based inks were used on sturdy paper, that enabled the papers to be washed and to retain colors. The company did art murals/wall scenes or friezes that were tastefully designed but affordable, and later scenics and continuous panoramics that surrounded a room were available for homes and public buildings.

A patent was filed in 1906 for the printed frieze for walls by Hugo M. Schmitz, his business partner William Horning, and his top salesman, Warren R. Cox. An article he wrote was published in an architectural decorating magazine at the turn of the century about the friezes. He was an artist himself and designed some of the paper.

On the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum web site, scenic panel, “Ming Floral,” is a 1939 chromolithograph, but they are in the process of digitizing images of S-H wallpaper (gifts of the Wallpaper Council, Inc.).

According to a 1950 S-H Scenic Paper price list, Ming Floral was available in white, pale yellow, gray, and turquoise. A full set of four panels was $30.00, and price per section was $8.50. In another, perhaps earlier catalog, it was priced $7.50. Each panel was 40″ x 80″ in size. The panels contained imagery of plants, flowers, birds, bamboo trees, and turf. It was from an original hand-painted Chinese design.

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