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.


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.


Hugo Max Schmitz and Warren Reynolds Schmitz, presidents of Schmitz-Horning Co.

October 29, 2016

By Janet Dodrill

Hugo Max Schmitz holds his young son Warren Reynolds Schmitz, in 1905.

Hugo Max Schmitz holds his young son Warren Reynolds Schmitz, in 1905.

Schmitz-Horning Co., and mural and wall covering manufacturing and printing company, was founded around 1905 (or possibly earlier) in Cleveland, Ohio by Hugo Max Schmitz and William Horning (“Will” or “Bill”). They were artists and lithographers.

Hugo was born in Wisconsin and traveled to Cleveland in the late 1890s, joining the Art Club, and befriending (and even traveling with) several established area artists. He was a talented artist, and wanted to offer high quality art that was affordable for people’s homes, thus the idea of reproducible art murals and papers.

Hugo was acting president, and Mr. Horning sold his interest in the company around 1920.

Around 1926, Hugo’s son, Warren Reynolds Schmitz, came to work at the company as Vice President and worked in sales after graduating from Miami University of Ohio (where he excelled in Debate Club).

hugo max schmitz

Hugo Max Schmitz of Schmitz-Horning Company, Cleveland, Ohio.

Hugo was my great-grandfather and Warren was my grandfather.

The company had longevity in its employees, and many had multiple family members who worked there. They printed on two of the largest chromolithographic custom presses in the world (a third one being in London), and oversized zinc plates had to be shipped from Germany. The color lithographs exceeded a 40″ x 80″ sheet size and were printed in oil-based inks on high quality paper and were fully washable.

It was most likely one of the top ten wall covering manufacturers in the country of its time, and Hugo Schmitz was considered and authority on the Frieze, a continuous pictorial wall mural, and published articles in Decorator and Architectural trade journals.

In 1938, Warren Schmitz became president of Schmitz-Horning, after a tragic automobile accident and death of Hugo, 72. Also killed was family friend Margaret A. Hale, 66, wife of the late George W. Hale, builder of Cleveland’s Alcazar Hotel. Hugo’s wife, Pauline “Queen” Reynolds Schmitz was injured but survived.

warren-reynolds-schmitz-schmitz-horning-company-cleveland-ohio

After the death of Hugo Max Schmitz, Schmitz-Horning Co. was run by his son, Warren Reynolds Schmitz.

With Warren at the helm, he produced new patterns and product lines including scenic panoramics, working with several notable area artists, and developed sales and marketing materials including catalogs and small-scale wall scenics view books.

Warren Schmitz (“Bud”), ran the company until around 1960, and Schmitz-Horning Company closed. A bookkeeping document shows that a sale of S-H equipment to another local wallpaper firm occurred around 1964. A newspaper ad for the wall coverings sold through The May Company can be seen in The Plain Dealer in the 1964. Warren died at the age of 65 in 1970.

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Glenn M. Shaw, Established Mural Artist Designed for Schmitz-Horning Co.

September 27, 2016

By Janet Dodrill

The Old Canal by Glenn M. Shaw, small-scale salesman sample, chromolithograph, 4-panel pattern.

The Old Canal by Glenn M. Shaw, small-scale salesman sample, chromolithograph, 4-panel pattern.

The Old Canal detail.

The Old Canal detail.

Glenn Moore Shaw was a local Northeast Ohio commercial artist, who had a studio in Lakewood, Ohio, and he designed a number of patterns for the Schmitz-Horning Company, sometime between the 1930s and 1950s. His artist wife Elsa Vick Shaw also designed for the company. Both had a friendly and close working relationship for a number of years with my grandfather, Warren Reynolds Schmitz, who ran Schmitz-Horning from 1938 to 1960.

The scenic designs included five illustrated maps (which were said to be accurate), The Old Canal (or Canal Days) wallpaper or wall mural pattern set which depicts the Ohio & Erie Canal between Cleveland and Bath, Ohio, and Old Dominion wall mural pattern which was a set of seven panels. Each panel in the Old Dominion pattern was 30” x 80” plus, printed in multi-color chromolithograph, to be trimmed at the desired height.

Old Dominion by Glenn M. Shaw, chromolithograph, 7-panel pattern, each 30" x 80"+.

Old Dominion by Glenn M. Shaw, chromolithograph, 7-panel pattern, each 30″ x 80″+.

Old Dominion detail.

Old Dominion detail.

Shown is a section of the pictorial map Glenn Shaw designed called Robinson Crusoe, which is part of a collection of Schmitz-Horning wall coverings at the Smithsonian’s Cooper Hewitt Design Museum (a gift from the Wallpaper Council, Inc.).

In addition to professional fine art painting and printmaking, he taught mural painting and advertising design at the Cleveland School of Art for 35 years, and painted murals in three post offices, Canton, Warren, and Perrysburg, Ohio.

Robinson Crusoe Pictoral Mural Map, one panel 40" x 60", designed by Glenn M. Shaw. Above catalog illustration, below section of actual paper (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 (photo: Cooper Hewitt).

Resources:

Schmitz family documents

Wikipedia

Ohio Post Office Artwork Collection
http://www.wpamurals.com/ohiopoart.htm
http://www.wpamurals.com/ohio.htm

AskArt
http://www.askart.com/artist/Glenn_Moore_Shaw/109732/Glenn_Moore_Shaw.aspx

Elsa Vick Shaw, The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History
http://ech.case.edu/cgi/article.pl?id=SEV

Glenn Moore Shaw, The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History
http://ech.case.edu/cgi/article.pl?id=SGM

Cooper Hewitt Design Museum Links:

Smuggler’s Cove, Scenic Mural/Map Panel, 1950 (by Glenn M. Shaw)
http://www.cooperhewitt.org/2015/07/05/decorative-wall-map/
https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18431523/with-image-6098/
https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18431521/
https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18431523/with-image-91433/

Pioneer America, Scenic Mural/Map Panel, 1930–40 (by Glenn M. Shaw)
https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18431531/
https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18431533/
https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18431533/with-image-95057/
https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18431533/with-image-95920/
https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18431533/with-image-95056/

Robinson Crusoe, Scenic Mural/Map Panel, 1930-40 (by Glenn M. Shaw)
https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18431521/

Spanish Main, Scenic Mural/Map Panel, 1930-40 (by Glenn M. Shaw)
https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18431535/

Relief Map of the United States, Scenic Mural/Map Panel, 1930-40 (by Glenn M. Shaw)
https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18431525/

Image from Cooperhewitt.org used under the Fair Use copyright act.

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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.)

 


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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