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.

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


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

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Cooper Hewitt Museum at Smithsonian Offers Large Sample Collection of Schmitz-Horning Wallcoverings

September 22, 2015

By Janet Dodrill

For design and wallpaper lovers, Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian’s Design Museum, has an entire section of wall covering samples from the Schmitz-Horning Company of Cleveland, Ohio. As a gift of the Wallpaper Council, Inc., the collection has dozens of patterns and color variations, printed as chromo-lithographs, mostly believed to be from the 1930s and 1940s.

Scenic Hudson, Scenic-Panels by Schmitz-Horning Co., 1930-1940, Cooper Hewitt, Gift of Scott Cazet

Scenic Hudson, Scenic-Panels by Schmitz-Horning Co., 1930-1940, Cooper Hewitt, Gift of Scott Cazet

The company was known for upscale lithographic wallpaper, friezes, art murals, and scenic panoramics, printed with oil-based inks onto high-quality paper, and was in business between 1905 and 1960. They used some of the largest zinc printing plates in the country, with an image area of roughly 80″ x 40″. The paper was fully washable.

The design museum owns one full set, a four-part scenic mural called ‘Scenic Hudson,’ a lovely pattern that they describe, “captures a romantic view of the Hudson River.” What’s also great is that Cooper Hewitt includes a detailed description of the work with accompanying audio. This set was the gift of Scott Cazet.

Additionally, Schmitz-Horning offered a selection of large-scale wall maps. The Cooper Hewitt museum has two adjoining sections of a beautifully illustrated map, ‘Smuggler’s Cove,’ designed by established Cleveland area artist Glenn M. Shaw, who contracted on several designs with the company. Again, the museum offers details and audio on the pattern.

Smuggler's Cove by Schmitz-Horning Co., 1930-1940, Cooper Hewitt, Gift of Wallpaper Council, Inc.

Smuggler’s Cove by Schmitz-Horning Co., 1930-1940, Cooper Hewitt, Gift of Wallpaper Council, Inc.

Although the museum is still in the process of digitizing the samples to post on their website, I have created a category on my Pinterest page of Schmitz-Horning work currently on their site. I have a special interest in the history, since my great-grandfather, Hugo M. Schmitz, co-founded and served as president of the company, until his death, when it was then operated by my grandfather, Warren R. Schmitz. I am thrilled that these samples were preserved and thanks to the digital age they are now being shared.

Cooper Hewitt has undertaken a huge (ongoing) effort to make the Schmitz-Horning Co. samples available as resources for the general public, researchers, and enthusiasts.

Resource Links:

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

Cooper Hewitt / Schmitz Horning / Objects Of The Day
http://www.cooperhewitt.org/tag/schmitz-horning/

(Pictured) Chinese Embroidery Scenic-Panel by Schmitz-Horning Co., 1930-1940, Cooper Hewitt, Gift of Wallpaper Council, Inc.
https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18431485/

Chinese Embroidery Scenic-Panel by Schmitz-Horning Co., 1930-1940, Cooper Hewitt, Gift of Wallpaper Council, Inc.

Chinese Embroidery Scenic-Panel by Schmitz-Horning Co., 1930-1940, Cooper Hewitt, Gift of Wallpaper Council, Inc.

 

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


Schmitz-Horning Co. Artists Created Impressive Lithographic Murals and Scenic Wallpaper

June 11, 2015

By Janet Dodrill

The Old Canal, Schmitz-Horning Co., Cleveland, Ohio, scenic mural, four sections each 40" wide x 80" high.

The Old Canal, Schmitz-Horning Co., Cleveland, Ohio, scenic mural, four sections each 40″ wide x 80″ high.

Cleveland scenic wallpaper and lithographic mural company, Schmitz-Horning Company (operating roughly between 1903-1964), hired many local and nationally-recognized artists to design their lithograph murals. The company used high quality paper with oil-based inks that were fully washable, and their product was claimed not to fade.

Some of the artists hired worked in-house while others worked out of their studios. Once an artistic sketch or the study was created on paper or illustration board, litho-crayon (grease) artists would enlarge the designs onto zinc lithographic plates for printing. With mural sections at 40″ x 80″ plus, these color lithographs were printed on some of the largest printing presses in the country at that time.

Paul A. Meunier, gouache floral painting, 1937 – employed at the Schmitz-Horning Co., Cleveland, Ohio, 1927-1938.

Paul A. Meunier, gouache floral painting, 1937 – employed at the Schmitz-Horning Co., Cleveland, Ohio, 1927-1938.

Some of the artists who designed for Schmitz-Horning include Henry G. Keller, Glenn M. Shaw and Elsa V. Shaw, Carl Broemel, Paul A. Meunier, Carl Fuchs, Paul Haas, Hugo M. Schmitz, and others – many of them studying or teaching at the Cleveland School of Art (they had a mural department) and the Cleveland Museum of Art, and some were members of Cleveland’s Art Club.

The company was originally a lithographic poster plant and then developed a line of litho murals which later developed into scenic and floral wall decorations. Although wallpaper was the main source of sales, many posters and displays were printed for advertising agencies.

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


Schmitz-Horning Company Created Wallpaper Murals and Art

April 11, 2011

By Janet Dodrill

schmitz-horning-company-cleveland-ohio-color-landscape-wall-mural

Schmitz-Horning Co. wall art.

hugo max schmitz

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

In the early 1900s there existed a Cleveland, Ohio wallpaper and mural art manufacturing company named Schmitz-Horning Company. Artist and printmaker Hugo Max Schmitz, co-founder, artist, and a second or third generation German immigrant, produced large scale decorative wall pieces known as “friezes”. These pictorial wall decorations were applied to the upper third of walls in high class home and hallways or public buildings (the lower area was typically covered in a solid wallpaper to serve as background for furniture). The company was innovative in its German imports of large scale plates for their color lithography and chromolithography printing, and the first to develop, though unpatented, a washable wallpaper printed in oil colors and cleanable with a damp cloth without injury to the paper.

schmitz-horning-company-cleveland-ohio-sanibel-no-77211-wall-mural-sample

Wall paper mural sample showing A, B, C, and D sections. Sanibel Pattern No. 77211, Schmitz-Horning Co., Cleveland, Ohio.

Hugo wrote an article on ‘Wallpaper News’ for Arts & Decoration architecture magazine, October 1912 (pages 439-440) about this wall treatment and its application. According to the article, the wall decoration frieze was of a different concept than a typical wall border, which were to be used with wall-hangings. The designs were more independent in character, to take up not less than one quarter of the wall space (high room ceilings preferred), and its base should not be more than seven feet from the ground. The company also manufactured advertising posters.

queen-reynolds-home-euclid-ave-east-cleveland-ohio

Wife, Queen grew up in this E. Cleveland home on the north side of Euclid Avenue at Ivydale (across the street and down from the Rockefellers).

Mr. Schmitz knew many of the Cleveland School Artists, painted and sketched among them, and hired some of them to design wallpaper murals, including Henry Keller, and August Biehle. He also spoke of other local artists like Frank Wilcox and William Somer. He was close friends with Archibald Willard of Bedford, Ohio, who is known for his painting, The Spirit of ’76. Archibald Willard presented one of his landscape paintings to Hugo and his bride, Queen Reynolds for their wedding in 1902. Later he gave Hugo a table statue of the three soldiers depicted in his famous painting.

schmitz-horning-company-cleveland-ohio-hunt-sport-wall-mural

Schmitz-Horning Co. wallpaper mural, sports series.

National Painters magazine, Volume 39. 1912 (pages 734-735) stated the company first appeared at the wall paper show in 1905 with their panoramic friezes. Early popular designs included the “Navajo”, the “Chase” and the “Cupids and Garlands”, and were considered dominant features with their bright colors and more importantly real works of art at a considerable low cost. Other newer named catalog items are named in the article with color variances including a ‘Wizard of Oz’ series, and subject matter including gardens and castles, foliage and tree tops, grasses, sunsets, tropics, brooks, fabric effects, sporting panels and fox hunters, poker games and horse drawn carriages, witches and caldrons, animal cut-outs for children, even story-telling “Pocahontas and Captain John Smith”, ranging in size from 10-41 inches, some in repeats, and some in continuous designs extending to 20 feet. Schmitz Horning had small scale illustrations made in actual colors for their catalogs.

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

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

In Building Age architecture magazine, 1919, (page 78) the catalogs are noted as of interest to the trade, and the friezes are described as affordable decorations which retained qualities of hand work or mural paintings, were sanitary (cleanable) and were said not to stain or fade.

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.

Potter & Potter Auctions of Chicago has carried a number of Schmitz-Horning wall lithographs in their auctions.

The company was a member of The Wallpaper Council of New York, NY. After his tragic death by automobile accident in 1938, the business was run by Hugo’s son, Warren Reynolds Schmitz, until it closed sometime around 1960.

hugo-max-schmitz-original-watercolor-cleveland-ohio

Original watercolor by Hugo Max Schmitz.

Hugo Max Schmitz was my great-grandfather, and though I never met him, I have admiration for him and share his passion for art and printmaking. His personal artwork included original portrait work in watercolor and oils.

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

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