Schmitz-Horning Co. Letterhead 1907

September 23, 2019

By Janet Dodrill

Recently, I came across this ephemera paper item on eBay, a letter from The Schmitz-Horning Company (founded 1905) to a potential customer Danbury Fair, to accompany wall covering samples, typed on their letterhead, dated 1907. I was so happy to find this document because it contains historical information about the company that I did not know previously.

The Schmitz-Horning Co. letter to a potential customer on their letterhead, 1907

The Schmitz-Horning Co. letter to a potential customer on their letterhead, 1907.

The letter reads (copied as it appears):

May 8, 1907.

Secretary. Danbury Fair.

Danbury, Conn.

Dear Sir:

Per the request of Mr Frank Spellman we are sending you under separate cover sample of a three sheet for Knabenshues Air-ship. We have the same thing in a one sheet. This paper is copywrited under our own name and cannot be obtained from anyone else. The price of the three sheets is 6 cents per sheet, and on the one sheets it is 6 cents per sheet in lots up to 500 over that 5 cents per sheet. Hoping to have the pleasure of hearing favorably from you we are

Yours very truly.

The Schmitz-Horning Co.

Do you use any race paper? We have a complete line of the very latest.

The company administrators are listed at the top:

H.M. Schmitz, President

W.R. Cox, Vice President

Wm Horning, Treasurer

W.M. Cope, Secretary

The first three are also listed on Schmitz-Horning’s 1906 Frieze Patent.

Hugo Max Schmitz (my great-grandfather) and William Horning were co-founders of the Schmitz-Horning Company. Hugo was an artist and most likely met William, an artist and a lithographer, at Cleveland Art Club in the late 1890s. I found a Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper article on an Art Club exhibit where they both exhibited. Warren R. Cox, shown as Vice President, was a relative and became head salesman. William M. Cope, listed as Secretary on the letterhead, was also a relative, and this letter brings forth my first understanding that he had any involvement in the company.

In researching the three-sheet sample named in the letter, Knabenshues Air-ship, I came across these air vessels in a 1914 Schmitz-Horning Co. catalog in the Sporting Panels series that was manufactured both in one sheet and in three sheets, which may be that one.

Sporting Panel pattern depicting aircraft by Schmitz-Horning Co.

Sporting Panel pattern depicting aircraft by Schmitz-Horning Co., 1914 catalog.

Additionally, at the bottom of the letter it mentions race paper. Could this possibly be the racing automobiles pattern that I discovered in the same catalog and series?

Sporting Panel pattern showing competing automobiles of the time on a race track or country road by Schmitz-Horning Co.

Sporting Panel pattern showing competing automobiles of the time on a race track or country road by Schmitz-Horning Co., 1914 catalog.

The address on the letterhead is Whitney Building, Power and Muirson Streets, Cleveland. The building housed many companies including machinists, foundries and lithographers. Power Street or Avenue no longer exists today. The company was in its own building on E. 82nd street by 1912.

Whitney Building, E. 12th and Power Ave., Cleveland, 1963. (Cleveland Public Library Photograph Collection)

Whitney Building, E. 12th and Power Ave., Cleveland, 1963. (Cleveland Public Library Photograph Collection)

The Schmitz-Horning Co. label dated from a 1912 catalog, from its newer address on E. 82nd Street, Cleveland.

The Schmitz-Horning Co. label dated from a 1912 catalog, from its newer address on E. 82nd Street, Cleveland.

schmitz-horning-company-cleveland-ohio-plant-about-1925

The Schmitz-Horning Company building, Cleveland, Ohio, about 1925.

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Carl Fuchs Designed Schmitz-Horning Scenic Wall Pattern

May 23, 2019

By Janet Dodrill

Schmitz-Horning Company's Old South scenic panel detail (Photo: Cooper Hewitt).

Schmitz-Horning Company’s Old South 1930s-1940s scenic panel detail (Photo: Cooper Hewitt).

Carl Fuchs designed the Old South scenic wall paper pattern (1930s-1940s) for the Schmitz-Horning Company of Cleveland, Ohio. The color lithograph (chromolithograph) inks and (washable) paper used were of the highest quality. Old South depicted plantation life in early America, and included a steamboat and fox hunt. There were twelve sections, each approximately 40″ x 80″ in repeat pattern.

The company was co-founded and run by my great-grandfather, Hugo M. Schmitz, and after his death in the late 1930s, run by my grandfather Warren R. Schmitz.

I am almost certain this 1920s Art Deco decorative pattern, Dekorative Vorbilder (Decorative Role Models), which I came across on an auction site, is by the same artist.

Dekorative Vorbilder by Carl Fuchs, 1920s Art Deco decorative pattern.

Dekorative Vorbilder by Carl Fuchs, 1920s Art Deco decorative pattern (Photo: Liveauctioneers.com).

Carl Fuchs was also hired by my grandparents to paint an oil portrait of my mother, then a girl of eight years.

Oil portrait of Schmitz-Horning president's daughter (my mother) by artist Carl Fuchs, 1939.

Oil portrait of Schmitz-Horning president’s daughter (my mother) by artist Carl Fuchs, 1939 (Photo: Schmitz family).

Resources:

Cooper Hewitt, Old South Scenic Panels
https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18431473/
https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18431471/
https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18431469/

Cooper Hewitt, Objects Involving The Schmitz-Horning Co.
https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/people/18046573/objects/

Riverview Estate Auctions, September 27, 2015 Auction, Lot 0008B
https://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/41129637_1920s-art-deco-dekorative-vorbilder-print-carl-fuchs

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Schmitz-Horning Company's Old South scenic panel, 1 of 12 sections, each 40″ x 80″, repeat, designed by Carl Fuchs (Photo: Cooper Hewitt).

Schmitz-Horning Company’s Old South scenic panel, 1 of 12 sections, each 40″ x 80″, repeat, designed by Carl Fuchs (Photo: Cooper Hewitt).

Schmitz-Horning Company's Old South scenic panel, 1 of 12 sections, each 40″ x 80″, repeat, designed by Carl Fuchs (Photo: Cooper Hewitt).

Schmitz-Horning Company’s Old South scenic panel, 1 of 12 sections, each 40″ x 80″, repeat, designed by Carl Fuchs (Photo: Cooper Hewitt).

Schmitz-Horning Company's Old South scenic panel, 1 of 12 sections, each 40″ x 80″, repeat, designed by Carl Fuchs (Photo: Cooper Hewitt).

Schmitz-Horning Company’s Old South scenic panel, 1 of 12 sections, each 40″ x 80″, repeat, designed by Carl Fuchs (Photo: Cooper Hewitt).


Schmitz-Horning Maytime Pattern No. 8015 Uncovered

January 12, 2019

By Janet Dodrill

A couple months ago I was contacted by email to help identify a Schmitz-Horning Co. frieze or wallpaper pattern. The only information available was the manufacturer name “Schmitz-Horning Co., Cleveland, Ohio, Made in U.S.A.,” the pattern name “Maytime,” and the pattern number “8015,” Section A and Section C. The person was renovating an old home and was curious to see what had been under the layers of wallpaper.

Home being renovated by new owners uncover under layers that wallpaper by Schmitz-Horning was used.

Home being renovated by new owners uncover under layers that wallpaper by Schmitz-Horning was used.

Schmitz-Horning Co., Cleveland, Ohio wall frieze border uncovered in home renovation.

Schmitz-Horning Co., Cleveland, Ohio wall frieze border uncovered in home renovation.

Maytime identified as old wallpaper pattern used in old home.

Maytime identified as old wallpaper pattern used in old home.

After some time searching the family archives, I was able to locate the pattern in Schmitz-Horning Company’s 1937 Kro-Mura™ Wall Decorations Catalog, pages 14 and 15. It was a beautiful fairy-like scenic color lithograph wall covering design, and send images of it to the contact. It is unclear when the pattern was initially produced.

It was rewarding to uncover some of the history of the old home and share in the discovery of this long lost wallpaper design.

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Maytime. This beautiful scenic paper reminds one of fairy-story illustrations. Its unusual charm lies largely in this fairy-lore interest, its dainty handling and refined coloring.

Maytime. This beautiful scenic paper reminds one of fairy-story illustrations. Its unusual charm lies largely in this fairy-lore interest, its dainty handling and refined coloring.

Maytime wall covering pattern by Schmitz-Horning Co. 1937 Kro-Mura catalog specification page.

Maytime wall covering pattern by Schmitz-Horning Co. 1937 Kro-Mura catalog specification page.

Maytime, No. 8015 – Green and pastel

Maytime, No. 8015 – Green and pastel, Maytime wall covering pattern by Schmitz-Horning Co. catalog specification page.

Maytime, Section A, B, C, D

Maytime, Section A, B, C, D, Maytime wall covering pattern by Schmitz-Horning Co. catalog specification page.


Karl Germain the Wizard Magic Posters Printed by Schmitz-Horning Co.

April 8, 2018

By Janet Dodrill

In 1908, Schmitz-Horning Company (est. 1905), a Cleveland, Ohio lithographic printing company, manufactured a series of large color lithographic advertising posters for professional magician Karl Germain. Additionally printed was a brochure.

Karl Germain (Charles Mattmuller), 1878-1959, was a native of Cleveland, and performed unique magic of his own creation in both America and England until his stage career ended prematurely in 1916 due to blindness.

These posters, and those of other magicians, have become highly collectible in ‘magicana’ collections (antiques and collectibles related to magic and magicians). Several international auction houses (and eBay) have offered these rare magic lithographs, and other wall murals by the Schmitz-Horning Company, for sale since around 2010.

Potter & Potter Auctions of Chicago, Illinois has auctioned dozens of Schmitz-Horning Co. Karl Germain magic posters.

Recently, one of the Karl Germain’s magic posters became available in Google Arts & Culture for the public to enjoy and learn about.

Schmitz-Horning was known for their early large scale capacity printing presses. At the time they owned two of three such custom-built presses in the world, and the 40″ x 80″-plus plates were shipped-in from Germany.

Resources:

Potter & Potter Auctions
Google Arts and Culture, American Museum of Magic

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

Germain the Wizard Coming Events Cast Their Shadows Before Poster

Germain the Wizard Coming Events Cast Their Shadows Before, three-sheet, 1908, 41″ x 76 1/2″, 1908, (Photo: Potter & Potter Auctions)

Germain the Wizard Magic Poster

Germain the Wizard, 1908, 27 3/4″ x 42″, color lithograph (Photo: Potter & Potter Auctions)

Germain the Wizard Witch’s Cauldron Poster

Germain the Wizard, Witch’s Cauldron, 1908, 85″ x 44″, stone lithograph (Photo: Google Arts and Culture, American Museum of Magic)

Germain The Wizard

Germain the Wizard, Witch’s Cauldron Detail, 1908, Schmitz-Horning Co. lithograph (Photo: Google Arts and Culture, American Museum of Magic)

Germain The Man Who Mystified All Of London Poster

Germain, the Man who Mystified All of London, three-sheet, 1908, 76 1/2″ x 41″, color lithograph (Photo: Potter & Potter Auctions)

Germain the Master of Magic

The Master of Magic, Germain, 1908, 43″ x 28″, color lithograph (Photo: Potter & Potter Auctions)

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Cooper Hewitt’s Object of the Day, Schmitz-Horning Co. 1913-1914 Catalogue

March 11, 2018

By Janet Dodrill

The Outside Comes Inside, Cooper Hewitt's Object of the Day, the Schmitz-Horning Company Catalogue.

The Outside Comes Inside, Cooper Hewitt’s Object of the Day, the Schmitz-Horning Company Catalogue.

Cooper Hewitt’s recent Object of the Day (December 17, 2017), The Outside Comes Inside, featured Schmitz-Horning Company’s San-Kro-Mura wall decoration catalogue from 1913-1914.

The Object of the Day webpage contains color images of selected catalogue pages and a brief audio recording about it and the company.

The Schmitz-Horning Company, established in 1905 in Cleveland, Ohio, designed and manufactured full-color chromolithograph high quality washable wall coverings, murals, decorative room panoramics, and friezes.

The wall decoration catalogue is available as part of an “adoption” program to gain funding to support the preservation of this book and others at the museum.

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum currently has over 100 pieces in their collection from the Schmitz-Horning Company – the major collection was a gift from the Wallpaper Council, Inc. of New York, NY.

Schmitz-Horning was co-founded by Hugo M. Schmitz (my great-grandfather) and William Horning, artists and lithographers. It is believed the two became acquainted in the late 1800s in and around the Cleveland Art Club and artist’s community. Mr. Horning sold his interest in the company in 1920. Around 1926, Warren R. Schmitz (my grandfather), became vice president of the firm and assisted in company sales. In 1938 he became president of the company until it closed in 1960.

The Forest wall mural theme, Schmitz-Horning Co., 1914 catalogue

The Forest wall mural theme, Schmitz-Horning Co., 1914 catalogue

 

Hollyhocks wall mural theme, Schmitz-Horning Co. 1914 catalogue.

Hollyhocks wall mural theme, Schmitz-Horning Co. 1914 catalogue.

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Selected Schmitz-Horning Company Links at Cooper Hewitt:

Cooper Hewitt’s recent Object of the Day (December 17, 2017) The Outside Comes Inside, Schmitz-Horning Co. 1913-1914 Catalogue
cooperhewitt.org/2017/12/17/the-outside-comes-inside

The Schmitz-Horning Co.
collection.cooperhewitt.org/people/18046573

Cooper Hewitt WALLCOVERINGS
cooperhewitt.org/tag/wallcoverings


William Horning, Schmitz-Horning Co., Artist and Lithographer

December 22, 2017

By Janet Dodrill

William Horning, Floral Still Life, oil on canvas, 27" x 33"

William Horning, Floral Still Life, oil on canvas, 27″ x 33″

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.

 

Sources:

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

Rachel Davis Fine Arts

Liveauctioneers.com

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Photo: Rachel Davis Fine Arts

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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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