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.

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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).


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


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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Former Schmitz-Horning Company Building Destroyed by Fire

January 24, 2017

By Janet Dodrill

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

The Schmitz-Horning Company building, Cleveland, Ohio, about 1925. (Schmitz family archives)

In April 2011 when I began my research into family-owned Schmitz-Horning Company (Cleveland, Ohio, 1905-1960), a prominent high-end mural and wall covering manufacturer and printer (co-founded and run by my great-grandfather and later by my grandfather), two things happened. First, I discovered a black and white photograph of the building from around 1925 in our family documents. Second, after Googling the building’s address of 777 E. 82nd Street in Cleveland, search results showed it was being occupied by an industrial chemical company, and the building looked well maintained from the photo on Google street view.

777 E. 82nd Street, Cleveland, Ohio Photo: Google, 2007

777 E. 82nd Street, Cleveland, Ohio
Photo: Google, 2007

Excited about the find, it was my intention to go see the building. Several months rolled by and I Googled the business address again and many recent articles dated June 27, 2011 came up stating that an accidental fire had destroyed the building, most likely started by roofers, drawing 60 firefighters from 15 departments — a triple three alarm fire! Fortunately, no one was injured.

777 E. 82nd Street, Cleveland, Ohio Photo: Cleveland.com, June 27, 2011

Fire at 777 E. 82nd Street, Cleveland, Ohio
Photo: Cleveland.com, June 27, 2011

Initially, the owner announced plans to rebuild on the same site but renovated offices were built directly across the street in other facilities owned by the company. The site where the building once stood is today a lot for parking and storage of machinery and equipment.

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Artists D.E. Sutton and Anne Nolan Illustrated for Schmitz-Horning Catalogs

December 20, 2016

By Janet Dodrill

Schmitz-Horning Company of Cleveland, Ohio (1905-1960) was recognized on a global level as a high-end large scale chromolithograph designer and manufacturer of art murals and posters, wall decorations and wall coverings.

The company advertised in architectural and decorating trade magazines, and produced postcards with their patterns, and fully illustrated catalogs.

The original wallpaper and mural designs were meticulously drawn or painted by skilled artists then transferred onto lithographic plates, the largest in the country at the time, with the imported zinc plates exceeding 40″ x 80″ in size. Expert catalog illustrators recreated the patterns and rendered interiors showing their applications.

These catalog illustrations are beautiful and demonstrate a high degree of artistic ability and design.

Some of the catalogs themselves exist in our family, as a record of the business that my great-grandfather (H.M. Schmitz) co-founded and ran, and of which my grandfather (W.R. Schmitz) later oversaw.

Here are some of the Schmitz-Horning Company catalog illustrations, created and signed by B.E. Sutton, Anne Nolan, and D. Scott Brown or Scott D. Brown, D.S. or S.D., and other unidentified yet talented artists.

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

Schmitz-Horning Co. pattern Chinese Floral, catalog illustration by D.E. Sutton.

Schmitz-Horning Co. pattern Chinese Floral, catalog illustration by D.E. Sutton.

Schmitz-Horning Co. pattern Elysia, catalog illustration by D.E. Sutton.

Schmitz-Horning Co. pattern Elysia, catalog illustration by D.E. Sutton.

Schmitz-Horning Co. pattern Marguerette, catalog illustration by Anne Nolan.

Schmitz-Horning Co. pattern Marguerette, catalog illustration by Anne Nolan.

Schmitz-Horning Co. pattern Valencia, catalog illustration by D.S. or S.D.

Schmitz-Horning Co. pattern Valencia, catalog illustration by D.S. or S.D.

Schmitz-Horning Co. pattern Valencia, catalog illustration by D. Scott Brown or Scott Brown D.

Schmitz-Horning Co. pattern Valencia, catalog illustration by D. Scott Brown or Scott Brown D.

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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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