Frieze by Schmitz-Horning Co. Based on Henry G. Keller Painting

June 30, 2020

By Janet Dodrill

The Garden of the Gods, No. 362, wall frieze, Schmitz-Horning Co. 1912 catalog, from the painting by Henry G. Keller

The Garden of the Gods, No. 362, wall frieze, Schmitz-Horning Co. 1912 catalog, from the painting by Henry G. Keller

American artist Henry G. Keller (1869-1949) designed works for Cleveland’s Schmitz-Horning Company, a wallpaper manufacturer. A frieze, which appeared in a 1912 catalog (from our Schmitz family archive), The Garden of the Gods (the gateway, with Pike’s Peak in the distance), No. 362, was from the painting by Henry Keller. The pattern was made-up of a sequence of six sections, 36 inches wide by 15 feet repeat. These wall decorations had unlimited uses, as the catalog states, in both residences and public places such as hotels, restaurants, theaters and club rooms.

henry g keller

Henry Keller, ca. 1920 (source: Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution)

I am in the process of researching the painting, and will update this post with anything I discover.

Henry Keller was born the same year as my great-grandfather, Hugo Max Schmitz, co-founder and president of Schmitz-Horning, which was founded in 1905. Based on that, Mr. Keller must have been in between the ages of 36 and 45 when the wall frieze was manufactured.

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Resources:

Photo, Henry Keller, ca. 1920 / unidentified photographer. Henry G. Keller papers, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution
http://www.aaa.si.edu/collections/images/detail/henry-keller-6384

Schmitz Family Archives

Detail, The Garden of the Gods, frieze, Schmitz-Horning Co.

Detail, The Garden of the Gods, frieze, Schmitz-Horning Co., chromolithograph


Original Wall Mural Designs from Schmitz-Horning Company

January 29, 2020

By Janet Dodrill

Beautiful original scenic wall covering designs, in a variety of mediums, such as watercolor, guoache, and oil, on paper or illustration board, from the Schmitz-Horning Company (1905-1964), discovered in the Hugo M. and Warren R. Schmitz family archives.

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Wall Mural Design Panels for Schmitz-Horning-Company, Floral Garden by Hugo Max Schmitz, early 1900s.

Wall Mural Design Panels for Schmitz-Horning-Company, Floral Garden by Hugo Max Schmitz, early 1900s.

Original Scenic Wall Covering Design by Artist, Havenstein

Original Scenic Wall Covering Design by Artist, Havenstein.

schmitz-horning company wallpaper design color palette

Color Palette.

Original Scenic Wall Mural design Schmitz-Horning Company

Original Scenic Wall Mural design, Artist Unknown, Schmitz-Horning Company.

schmitz-horning company wallpaper design color palette

Color Palette.


Early Postcard of Schmitz-Horning Co. Wallpaper Pattern

December 29, 2019

By Janet Dodrill

On an eBay search for Schmitz-Horning Company items, I found this postcard portraying one of their bathroom wallpapers, a windmill pattern, from an early catalog (1909-1910).

Until this discovery, I was not aware of the postcard or the company’s attempts at the marketing of their wallpaper.

The postcard reads:
The Windmill
No. 605
A practical bath room decoration, made in Delft blue. Two sections, each 20 inches wide and 60 inches high. Must be alternated to match. Sold by the section
The Schmitz-Horning Co.
Panoramic Friezes
Cleveland, Ohio

It is postmarked Rochester, NY, 1909, with a one cent stamp. The eBay seller shipped it from Pennsylvania.

The Schmitz-Horning Company, a Cleveland-based wall covering manufacturer, was in business from 1905 to 1964. Co-founded by my great-grandfather, Hugo M. Schmitz, it was later run by my grandfather, Warren R. Schmitz.

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The Windmill, Schmitz-Horning Co. wallpaper pattern no. 605, postcard, front, 1909.

The Windmill, Schmitz-Horning Co. wallpaper pattern no. 605, postcard, front, 1909.

 

The Windmill, Schmitz-Horning Co. wallpaper pattern no. 605, postcard, back, 1909.

The Windmill, Schmitz-Horning Co. wallpaper pattern no. 605, postcard, back, 1909.

 

Schmitz-Horning Co. 1909-1910 catalog page, with wallpaper pattern The Windmill, no. 605.

Schmitz-Horning Co. 1909-1910 catalog page, with wallpaper pattern The Windmill, no. 605.


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

Possible 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.


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.

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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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