Lithography Spells Style For Schmitz-Horning Co., Wallpaper and Wallcoverings Magazine, 1961

November 28, 2021

By Janet Dodrill

Reproduced from the article, Lithography Spells Style For Schmitz-Horning Co. article, Wallpaper and Wallcoverings magazine, Convention Issue, November, 1961.

wallpaper and wallcoverings magazine november 1961

Wallpaper and Wallcoverings Magazine, Convention Issue, November, 1961.

In 1796, when a playwright named Aloys Senefelder invented a new process for publishing his plays and music, he probably never dreamed his method would be used to reproduce hundreds of different things – among them wallpaper scenics.

The process Senefelder invented is called lithography. It was adapted in 1905 by the Schmitz-Horning Co. Cleveland, Ohio, to make wallpaper murals.

The Cleveland firm is the only firm in the United States producing decorative types of scenic papers by the lithographic process. The technique is also used, however, to make photo murals.

Lithography offers two advantages in the production of scenic papers. First, it is comparatively inexpensive, and secondly, there is plenty of latitude in producing various effects. Until recently, Schmitz-Horning scenics were done in a full rainbow of colors with blurred outlines. The new lines, however, have adopted the crisp, simple styling popularized by the more expensive sold screen printed scenics.

schmitz-horning company direct rotary press and pressman 1961

A Schmitz-Horning Co. lithograph “direct rotary” press here “grounds” on a double coat of an oil based paint. Only one color can be printed at a time.

“When Schmitz-Horning first started making scenics, customers liked many colors and complicated designs,” explained Warren Schmitz, company president. “In fact, it took more than two years’ work to complete the plates for just one scenic.”

Some color ways of this scenic were made in 14 printings, one print at a time. The complicated motif of butterflies, flowers and other greenery gave the effect of elaborated detail found in oil painting. This elaborateness has been abandoned by the firm in its new scenics which are painted “color for color,” according to Mr. Schmitz.

Yet today’s S-H murals are being produced in much the same way as they were in 1905 when Hugo M. Schmitz, Warren Schmitz’s father, and Will Horning, a lithographic artist, Founded the firm. Horning sold out his share of the firm in 1921, and it has been run by the Schmitz family since.

lithographic artist frank mayer at schmitz-horning company 1961

Lithographic artist Frank Mayer traces a color area of a new Schmitz-Horning Co. design on a transparent tissue.

Hugo Schmitz was an artist of some note whose work had been hung in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Since worlds of art had long been reproduced by the lithographic process, Schmitz felt that wallpaper scenics could be made in the same way and much more economically than the hand-painted and wood blocked ones then available. So was introduced the first mechanized method of producing scenic wallpapers.

Within the firm’s first year of business, it established a modest distribution throughout the country, with a plant in downtown Cleveland as headquarters. In 1912 Schmitz-Horning moved to a two-story building at 777 E. 82nd St., where it has remained ever since.

In the plant of 15,000 square feet, the firm produces it lines of Murals of American, Lithographed Mural Wallpaper and Mural Maps. Schmitz-Horning was probably the first firm in the country to come out with a map specifically as a wallpaper scenic and called a “Mural Map.”

schmitz-horning company bookkeeper mrs harry james 1961

Mrs. Harry James, bookkeeper at Schmitz-Horning Co. for 37 years, checks a customer file. The firm puts out only its own lines which have been distributed throughout the U.S. for more than 50 years.

Mr. Schmitz estimated that his lithographed murals sell for about one-third to one-half the price of handprinted ones. The lower prices are due to the fact that lithographed wallpaper, although not made at the mass production rates of machine prints, can still be put out much faster than screen printed scenics requiring many hand operations.

The basis for lithography is a simple one: – under certain controlled conditions, oil and water will not mix. This process utilizes a flat printing of roughened zinc in contrast to a raised or engraved surface.

But before a plate can be made, a number of preliminary steps must be taken at the Schmitz-Horning plant. First, a design is needed. Providing these are free lance artists. Sometimes the artist will suggest his own design, while other times Mr. Schmitz will make a definite assignment.

schmitz-horning company president warren schmitz with sanibel pattern lithographic mural 1961

Warren Schmitz, president of Schmitz-Horning Co., stands beside a panel of “Sanibel”, new Schmitz-Horning lithographic mural featuring crisp, clean styling.

The finished art is usually half the size of the murals, which average 10-13 feet in width. Some scenics, however, exceed 20 feet. One well-known Schmitz-Horning design, “Westchester Hunt,” comes in 10 sections and runs a grand total of 11 1/3 feet.

A Black and white photograph of the finished art is blown up to full mural size. The Schmitz-Horning lithographic artist makes a tracing on tissue over the photograph. The tracing is an art in itself, since the artist is using a black and white photograph as his guide and must study the full color sketch to select colors. Each color must have its own tracing.

The tracings are then “rubbed down” on a zinc plate by putting them through a transfer press. The artist now works on the plate with a liquid crayon. Using the tracings as a guide he works in the color values onto the plate. Although a separate plate is required for each color in the design, both the dark and light values of a color can be carried on a single plate.

The plate is next put through a solution of gum arabic to delineate between the print and non-print areas. Parts of the surface protected by crayon are not affected by the chemical bath. But the unprotected surfaces react to the solution and take on an oxide coating. The plate now has the ability to attract and retain water on its surface.

The crayon is removed after the gum arabic bath, and the plate is ready for use. Its printing areas – those originally covered with crayon – pick up and transfer oil inks. The non-printing areas, those carrying a coating of oxide, will pick up and retain water.

Schmitz-Horning has three lithograph “direct rotary” presses plus a smaller press for scenic miniatures. The presses are sheet fed. The plate is attached to a large cylinder and prints directly on the sheets of paper which are carried around a second cylinder. Just one color is printed at a time and paper sheets are fed into the presses by hand.

Wallpaper scenics are but one of the many decorative and useful items reproduced by the lithographic process. May famous artists of past and present have produced lithographic prints which occupy a high rank in the graphic arts. Lithography is also the basis of the offset process used to print blotters, booklets, calendars, programs, greeting cards, children’s books, stationery, sheet music, maps and even cigar bands.

The oil-based paints used in the lithographic process have made Schmitz-Horning scenics automatically washable. “We’ve improved the process throughout the years, but even our earliest efforts could be washed,” said Mr. Schmitz. “A Woman wanted to know how to clean one of our old scenics in her house. I gave her very careful instructions, but the cleaning woman went ahead and washed it with LesToil. It came out beautifully.”

Schmitz-Horning’s new crisp styling is designed to appeal to modern families who want smart decor at a price they can afford, according to Mr. Schmitz. “Lithography still offers the most practical, mechanized method for producing large-scale designs,” he concluded.

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#schmitz-horningcompany #schmitzhorning #schmitzhorningcompany #wallpaper #wallcoverings #wallpaper #chromolithograph #lithograph #lithographic #cleveland #clevelandohio #wallmural #wallpaper #frieze #wallfrieze #panoramic #landscape #hugoschmitz #warrenschmitz #kro-mura #kromura #san-kro-mura #sankromura #venwood #printing #scenicwallmural #janetdodrill


Peninsula Plein Air Competition Exhibit through November 22, 2021

October 23, 2021

By Janet Dodrill

Peninsula Art Academy (www.peninsulaartacademy.org) hosts a Plein Air competition, open to all artists, October 14-16, 2021. Paintings are created (or 2-D work) outdoors in natural available light over the course of three days (Thursday through Saturday) around prime landmarks and locations around beautiful Peninsula, Ohio including in the Cuyahoga National Park. By the end of the third day (Saturday) the work must be completed (two pieces allowed per artist), framed and ready to hang. The exhibit is on Sunday, October 17, 2021 directly following, with a reception and awards ceremony from 3-6pm. Juried by David Rankin.

This was my third year participating in the event, and though both demanding and challenging, it was a very enriching way to build my skills and technique, and the experience even allowed me to meet several local area artists. I created two paintings, Cedar Grove Cemetery, 16″ x 20″ oil on canvas, and GAR Hall, 8″ x 10″ gouache. I am looking forward to future events offered by the Peninsula Art Academy.

The exhibit runs October 18 – November 22, 2021

Peninsula Art Academy
1600 Mill Street West
Peninsula, OH 44264
(330) 657-2248
http://www.peninsulaartacademy.org
Hours: Friday, Saturday, Sunday, 11am-5pm

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cedar grove cemetery by janet dodrill

Cedar Grove Cemetery, Oil on Canvas, 16″ x 20″ by Janet Dodrill, Peninsula, Ohio.

cedar grove cemetery by janet dodrill

Cedar Grove Cemetery, Oil on Canvas, 16″ x 20″ by Janet Dodrill, Peninsula, Ohio.

gar hall by janet dodrill

GAR Hall, Gouache on Board, 8″ x 10″ by Janet Dodrill, Peninsula, Ohio.

gar hall by janet dodrill

GAR Hall, Gouache on Board, 8″ x 10″ by Janet Dodrill, Peninsula, Ohio.

peninsula art academy peninsula ohio

Peninsula Art Academy, Peninsula Art Academy Plein Air competition 2021, Peninsula, Ohio.


Make Your Customers Dance by Marc A. Majers, Adds Beat to User Experience

August 29, 2021

By Janet Dodrill

make your customers dance book by marc a majers

Make Your Customers Dance: The Key To User Experience Is Knowing Your Audience, book by Marc A. Majers.

Have you ever been to a party or wedding with a DJ? They can energize a crowd and make the event a memorable experience for all.

Meet experienced DJ emcee turned web strategist, and you have Marc Majers, author of Make Your Customers Dance: The Key To User Experience Is Knowing Your Audience.

In this book all the heavy web strategies are addressed and discussed in detail. And to take it a step further, Marc compares the importance of each phase of building a website to that of setting up an event and getting ready to ‘spin’ some records. It adds a level of understanding and fun to what could be a complicated subject matter. The book tells us how to approach the website as a valuable part of your business, and the reader is drawn in by the comparison and the importance of planning and executing an event, engaging the participant, and creating something that can be taken away.

Because of Marc’s expertise as an information architect and digital strategist, he lists a great deal of content about content! And that is where we are in today’s content-driven web world. Everything that has been discussed in the past twenty or so years in the web industry is covered from a vast wealth of collective information from the tops in the field. Areas which include web visual and interface design, navigation and function, objectives, user centered design (UCD), user experience (UX), research and prototypes, analytics and evaluations, testing methods, and most importantly, how to begin.

If a DJ has the goal of keeping the dance floor packed, then wouldn’t it seem logical for a business owner to keep traffic coming to their site, engaging them when there, so they leave having had a good experience?

As a practicing web designer myself, I have known Marc for many years, and have seen him present complex topics to other web professionals, always coming well-prepared and delivering with knowledge and enthusiasm. He has always made what the experts in the field are saying available to his listeners. And I’ve have seen some of his well-structured websites in use. I was aware of his DJ-ing, but have not, until now, seen him combine his knowledge of web development with a light-hearted ‘twist’ on concept and approach.

Marc stresses the importance of knowing your audience, like the professional disc jockey is hired to manage a special event and must ‘tune in’ to the guests to give them what they are looking for in music to make them want to dance all night! With proper steps in building your web site you can satisfy your customers when they reach your web page and perhaps sell more than your competition, with potential of repeat business.

See what others see in your site and take it to the next level, with this recommended must-have publication.

Majers is also author of Don’t Fear The Forward, a hands-on guide to building a successful website for those who may be having trouble getting started, with smart ways to get organized and move ahead.


Make Your Customers Dance: The Key To User Experience Is Knowing Your Audience is available on Amazon, a valuable resource for anyone involved in planning, building, or maintaining a web site.


recommended reading five stars

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#marcmajers #informationarchitect #digitalstrategist #webdesign #webdevelopment  #userexperience #ux #usercentereddesign #ucd #makeyourcustomersdance #dontfeartheforward #thewebassociation #leadinghands #janetdodrill


Call of the Wild Juried Art Exhibit, 2021

May 29, 2021

By Janet Dodrill

My art piece, Elephants, was accepted into the juried art exhibit, Call of the Wild, displayed virtually at San Fernando Valley Arts & Cultural Center Sfvacc.org/call-of-the-wild offered through SCORE (Southern California Open Regional Exhibitions).

The online exhibit was juried by Carla, Laureen Bollinger, watercolor artist.

Flora and fauna in nature was the theme of the exhibit, and it can be viewed beyond the show dates, May 1 – May 31, 2021, at (Gallery 1) Sfvacc.org/call-of-the-wild and (Gallery 2) Sfvacc.org/call-of-the-wild#gallery2. The awards reception video is also available at Sfvacc.org/call-of-the-wild#video.

elephants watercolor and ink by janet dodrill

Elephants, watercolor and ink, 5 1/2″ x 8 1/2″, 2021, by Janet Dodrill.

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Artist Spotlight, Janet Dodrill, at 2B Or Not 2B Collective

April 28, 2021

By Janet Dodrill

Life drawing has saved my life over the past year. I am thoroughly amazed at the professionalism and creativity of the artists, models and coordinators.

Since 2017, I have explored urban sketching, Plein air, life drawing, and portrait painting groups, and love oil painting on canvas from long poses.

In March 2020, starting online sessions when time (luckily, working from home as a graphic designer and web designer through the pandemic), I’ve gained a sense of community, sketching from shorter poses on a smaller paper size due to limited space!

Materials include watercolor, ink, pencil/graphite, watercolor pencil, marker, charcoal, gouache, and acrylic, prepped watercolor paper trying techniques, mixed media paper in tones and weights, and iPad for 1-5 minute poses and transitional movement.

A favorite is animal life drawing from live sessions with handlers, professional video footage or stills, and even from webcams!

2BOrNot2B Collective has done an amazing job. I also look forward to drawing from their incredible replays.

See the original post on Instagram at 2B Or Not 2B Collective @2BOrNot2BCollective https://www.instagram.com/p/CNaPWbrngHe/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link.

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Janet Dodrill during the Peninsula Art Academy Plein Air Competition, Fall 2020.
The Wandering Sketchers, Zoom sketch session, 2020. Drawing by Janet Dodrill.
Tomika, model, at Drawn to the Valley, Valley Art Center, open portrait studio. Oil painting by Janet Dodrill.
Urban Sketchers Cleveland sketch event at Heinen’s downtown, 2020. Watercolor study by Janet Dodrill.

Portraits of Frontline Covid-19 Healthcare Workers, Doctors and Nurses

March 25, 2021

By Janet Dodrill

About three years ago I joined a Friday night portrait sketch group, The Pretentious Cleveland Portrait Artists. The website is at www.literarycafeartists.com and the weekly model sessions can be found at the blog link. The group (formerly known as The Pretentious Tremont Artists of the Literary Cafe) was founded in 2005 by Tim Herron and Brian Pierce, who wanted to practice portrait drawing and drew bar patrons late every Friday night at the Literary Cafe in Tremont, Ohio. Over that past 15 years the group has grown. It is unique that it pays the model for their time with the finished portraits! Though the original meeting location has changed, the group has still been open to all for both drawing and public viewing while the artists work. 

Since March 2020, because of the Covid-19 pandemic and stay at home orders, the group was able to move to an online streaming platform, thanks to the help of seasoned arts interviewer, Roger Miller, of Tues@7 on Facebook and YouTube, managing production for the first 12 weeks. This has enabled even a broader reach of artists to join in the weekly drawing session, beyond the Cleveland area. Artists then send in their portraits to give the model.

Around April of 2020, Tim Herron was interested in drawing portraits of doctors and nurses as a thank you for their service on the frontlines of battling the Coronavirus. Several artists around the world were making the news at the time involved in similar projects. Through his network of models, artists, and friends and their connections, he started receiving photographs and selfies of healthcare workers from different locations and hospital systems, including MetroHealth Hospital and the Cleveland Clinic. He opened up the project for any artists in his Friday group that wanted to participate.

roxana pozderca respiratory therapist at metrohealth by artist janet dodrill 2021
Roxana Pozderca, Respiratory Therapist, MetroHealth Hospital, Cleveland, Ohio, by Janet Dodrill.

So far (as of March 23, 2021), 18 artists have participated in this “Doctors and Nurses in Covid 19 Times” project, creating 155 original portraits, which are showcased on the group’s website at www.literarycafeartists.com/doctors-and-nurses-in-covid-19-times

I personally have produced 28 portraits for the project to-date, and will continue to do more. It’s great practice and I enjoy being part of a group of artists working together. I have an individual webpage on the group’s site at www.literarycafeartists.com/janet-dodrill, where they can be viewed under my general portrait gallery. We are following along with the idea of giving the portraits to the models, in this case the doctors and nurses.

MetroHealth Hospital in Cleveland currently has an exhibit in their lobby, since last fall, of their portraits, which is visible to the public when they visit for their Covid vaccines. Linda Jackson at MetroHealth organized photos and exhibit. They also produced a video on the project, Local Artists Honor Frontline Health Care Workers.

As a result of posting some of my doctors and nurses portraits on instagram (@janetdodrill), I have been asked to tag these works for a curated North American exhibit using hashtag #portraitsforcovidheroes for inclusion in the project by Jules Smith @jules_smith_artist and @portratisforcovidheroes.

Thank you, to all healthcare workers helping to battle this virus in this pandemic and save lives. You are true heroes.

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portraits of doctors and nurses and frontline healthcare workers by artist janet dodrill

Snippets of portraits of doctors and nurses on the frontlines by Janet Dodrill.
portraits of doctors and nurses and frontline healthcare workers by artist janet dodrill
Snippets of portraits of doctors and nurses on the frontlines by Janet Dodrill.
doctors and nurses portraits at metrohealth hospital in cleveland, ohio, photo by roger miller

Portraits of Covid frontline healthcare workers exhibit at MetroHealth Hospital, Cleveland, Ohio (photo by Roger Miller).
doctors and nurses portraits at metrohealth hospital in cleveland, ohio, photo by roger miller
Portraits of Covid frontline healthcare workers exhibit at MetroHealth Hospital, Cleveland, Ohio (photo by Roger Miller).

Life Drawing Couples

February 28, 2021

By Janet Dodrill

Many of the sketch groups I participate in (on Zoom) feature two models in their sessions. Here is a sketch of a lovely couple for the month of February from one of those life drawing sessions.

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life drawing sketch by janet dodrill

Figure life drawing of a couple by Janet Dodrill, 2020, watercolor, 5.5 x 8.5 inches.


Schmitz-Horning Company Made Beautiful Landscape Wallpapers

January 28, 2021

By Janet Dodrill

Cleveland, Ohio wallpaper manufacturer, Schmitz-Horning Company (1905-1964), designed and produced beautiful high quality wall murals and panoramics for homes and institutions. Here is a selection of just of few landscape designs from their 1941-1942 catalog, “Scenic and Sectional Wall Paper.”

The company produced large-scale chromolithographs and was maker to Kro-Mura, San-Kro-Mura, and Venwood wallpaper brands.

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Treasure Island, no. 8044 natural coloring on Rachelle, five sections each 40" wide by 80" high, by Schmitz-Horning Co.

Treasure Island, no. 8044 natural coloring on rachelle, five sections each 40″ wide by 80″ high, by Schmitz-Horning Co.

The Woodland, no. 367, two sheets each 36" high by 60" wide, by Schmitz-Horning Co.

The Woodland, no. 367, two sheets each 36″ high by 60″ wide, by Schmitz-Horning Co.

The Heron, no. 608, natural on off-white ground, two section each 40 inches wide by 60 inches high, by Schmitz-Horning Co.

The Heron, no. 608, natural on off-white ground, two section each 40 inches wide by 60 inches high, by Schmitz-Horning Co.

The Forest, no. 601, two sections each 40" wide by 60" high, by Schmitz-Horning Co.

The Forest, no. 601, two sections each 40″ wide by 60″ high, by Schmitz-Horning Co.

Sierras, no. 363, three sheets each 36" high by 60" wide, by Schmitz-Horning Co.

Sierras, no. 363, three sheets each 36″ high by 60″ wide, by Schmitz-Horning Co.

Ming Floral, no. 8036, turquoise ground, four sections each 40" by 80", by Schmitz-Horning Co.

Ming Floral, no. 8036, turquoise ground, four sections each 40″ by 80″, by Schmitz-Horning Co.

Larkspur, no. 8020, pastel colors on light yellow, three sections each 40" by 80", by Schmitz-Horning Co.

Larkspur, no. 8020, pastel colors on light yellow, three sections each 40″ by 80″, by Schmitz-Horning Co.

Elysia, no. 8032, pastel colors on old ivory, five sections each 40" by 80", by Schmitz-Horning Co.

Elysia, no. 8032, pastel colors on old ivory, five sections each 40″ by 80″, by Schmitz-Horning Co.

Die Niederlaender, no. 410, two sheets each 40" high by 60" wide, by Schmitz-Horning Co.

Die Niederlaender, no. 410, two sheets each 40″ high by 60″ wide, by Schmitz-Horning Co.

Chinese Floral, no. 80733, full color on wedgewood, four sections each 40" by 80", by Schmitz-Horning Co.

Chinese Floral, no. 80733, full color on wedgewood, four sections each 40″ by 80″, by Schmitz-Horning Co.

Chinese Embroidery, no. 808014, pastel colors on ivory grass cloth ground, two sections each 40" by 80", by Schmitz-Horning Co.

Chinese Embroidery, no. 808014, pastel colors on ivory grass cloth ground, two sections each 40″ by 80″, by Schmitz-Horning Co.

Schmitz-Horning Co. 1941-1942 catalog, Scenic and Sectional Wall Paper.

Schmitz-Horning Co. 1941-1942 catalog, Scenic and Sectional Wall Paper.


Artists Christmas Cards sent to Warren Schmitz of Schmitz-Horning Co.

December 17, 2020

By Janet Dodrill

Who doesn’t have an appreciation for an artist’s handmade Christmas card, or one displaying their artwork?

My grandfather, Warren R. Schmitz, who ran the Schmitz-Horning Company (1905-1964) from 1938-1964 received Christmas cards from artists who were either associated with the company or family friends, including Harvey Stief, Walter Sinz, and Charles Reiffel. Here are a few examples of the wonderful artwork on cards he received from them in the 1930s and 1940s.

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charles reiffel christmas card

Charles Reiffel

walter sinz christmas card

Walter Sinz

walter sinz christmas card

Walter Sinz

walter sinz christmas card

Walter Sinz

walter sinz christmas card

Walter Sinz

harvey stief christmas card

Harvey Stief

harvey stief christmas card

Harvey Stief

harvey stief christmas card

Harvey Stief

harvey stief christmas card

Harvey Stief


Schmitz-Horning Company Wall Frieze Patent

September 28, 2020

By Janet Dodrill

Schmitz-Horning Company, a well-established Cleveland wall covering printing firm, 1905-1964, had a patent granted in 1906, from the United States Patent Office, for the printed frieze for walls. It was signed by co-owners Hugo M. Schmitz I (my great-grandfather, 1867-1938), president, artist and lithographer, and William Horning, artist and lithographer, along with Warren R. Cox, head salesman.

Printed frieze for walls patent granted to the Schmitz-Horning Co., 1906, drawing 1. Photo: Google Patents

Printed frieze for walls patent granted to the Schmitz-Horning Co., 1906, sheet 1. Photo: Google Patents

Printed frieze for walls patent granted to the Schmitz-Horning Co., 1906, drawing 2. Photo: Google Patents

Printed frieze for walls patent granted to the Schmitz-Horning Co., 1906, sheet 2. Photo: Google Patents

The patent information:
http://www.google.com/patents/US830931

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