Schmitz-Horning Wallpaper Discovered in Family Photos

April 30, 2020
Chinese Floral wallpaper pattern blue color in a Schmitz-Horning Company catalog.

Chinese Floral wallpaper pattern blue color in a Schmitz-Horning Company catalog.

By Janet Dodrill

Growing up in the Schmitz family, our house was lined with Schmitz-Horning Company wallpaper! The company was co-founded by my great grandfather, Hugo M. Schmitz I, in 1905, who served as president. After his death in 1938 the company was run by his son and my grandfather, Warren R. Schmitz, until it closed about 1964.

My parents bought the family house from my grandparents, and it had Schmitz-Horning wallpaper in almost every room. Additionally, many family friends and extended family also displayed the company’s wallpaper in their homes. It was high quality and the patterns were beautiful.

After we purchased the house from my grandparents, we remodeled. It was the 1960s and we wanted a more modern look. Luckily my dad took a few interior photographs before all the wallpaper was stripped and removed.

Recently, I was going through one of my grandmother’s photo albums and found a few more shots of the wallpaper she had captured in the homes of friends and family, mostly in the 1940s. Here are a few photos from the albums with their corresponding catalog page.

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

 

Chinese Floral, Schmitz-Horning Company wallpaper pattern, from a Schmitz family photo album.

Chinese Floral, Schmitz-Horning Company wallpaper pattern, from a Schmitz family photo album.

Chinese Floral wallpaper pattern in a Schmitz-Horning Company catalog.

Chinese Floral wallpaper pattern in a Schmitz-Horning Company catalog.

Westchester Hunt, Schmitz-Horning Company wallpaper pattern, from a Schmitz family photo album.

Westchester Hunt, Schmitz-Horning Company wallpaper pattern, from a Schmitz family photo album.

Schmitz-Horning Company catalog cover showing the Westchester Hunt scenic pattern.

Schmitz-Horning Company catalog cover showing the Westchester Hunt scenic pattern.

Westchester Hunt wallpaper pattern in a Schmitz-Horning Company catalog.

Westchester Hunt wallpaper pattern in a Schmitz-Horning Company catalog.

Westchester Hunt Kro-Mura(TM) wallpaper schematic from a Schmitz-Horning Company catalog.

Westchester Hunt Kro-Mura(TM) wallpaper schematic from a Schmitz-Horning Company catalog.

Old Dominion, Schmitz-Horning Company wall mural, from a family photo, with Warren R. Schmitz pictured on the left.

Old Dominion, Schmitz-Horning Company wall mural, from a family photo, with Warren R. Schmitz pictured on the left.

Old Dominion, scenic wall paper manufactured by Schmitz-Horning Company.

Old Dominion, scenic wall paper manufactured by Schmitz-Horning Company.

Old Dominion scenic wallpaper detail by Schmitz-Horning Company.

Old Dominion scenic wallpaper detail by Schmitz-Horning Company.

Schmitz-Horning Company scenic wallpaper similar to the Elysia pattern, from a Schmitz family photo album.

Schmitz-Horning Company scenic wallpaper similar to the Elysia pattern, from a Schmitz family photo album.

Elysia scenic wallpaper pattern in a Schmitz-Horning Company catalog.

Elysia scenic wallpaper pattern in a Schmitz-Horning Company catalog.

World Map, Schmitz-Horning Company scenic wallpaper pattern, from a family photo.

World Map, Schmitz-Horning Company scenic wallpaper pattern, from a family photo.

World Map, one sheet wallpaper pattern in a Schmitz-Horning Company catalog.

World Map, one sheet wallpaper pattern in a Schmitz-Horning Company catalog.

Ming Floral, Schmitz-Horning Company scenic wall covering, from a Schmitz family photo.

Ming Floral, Schmitz-Horning Company scenic wall covering, from a Schmitz family photo.

Ming Floral scenic wall covering in a Schmitz-Horning Company catalog, shown in sections.

Ming Floral scenic wall paper panel detail from a Schmitz-Horning Company catalog.

Ming Floral scenic wall paper panel detail from a Schmitz-Horning Company catalog.


Schmitz-Horning’s Wells Fargo Scenic Wallpaper

February 29, 2020

By Janet Dodrill

Wells Fargo was a scenic wallpaper pattern manufactured by the Schmitz-Horning Company of Cleveland, Ohio. The pattern can be seen in the late 1950s company line and catalog, Murals of America. It was available in two ink color options and two paper colors choices, pattern numbers 77411, 77412, 77421, and 77422.

The Cleveland History Center of Western Reserve Historical Society has a complete set of this pattern in their collection. Another pattern in the same style and color schemes and by the same artist, was called Anchor Inn. It was considered a companion to Wells Fargo and could be used in the same room if ordered in the same run.

Recently, someone in Pennsylvania contacted me who purchased the Wells Fargo wall mural set from an auction in New Jersey, still in the original box.

Paul A. Meunier, an artist at Schmitz-Horning in the 1930s, who became president of Cleveland’s R.E. May, Inc. (lithographic plate company), had a personal collection of lithographs, and in a 1960s company catalog photo taken in the office, a framed version of the Wells Fargo mural can be seen hanging on the wall.

Specifications (Murals of America catalog):
A washable scenic paper in four sections each 40″ wide by 80″ high. It is a self-finishing “vignette” style mural. The wings L & R are printed on one section which must be cut apart. Lowest point of design starts 6″ from bottom of the paper and extends 45″ high, leaving 29″ of background above highest clouds. Background sections are available to file in at ends, top, and bottom of the mural.

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

Murals of America by Schmitz-Horning

Murals of America by Schmitz-Horning.

Schmitz-Horning Company Wells Fargo scenic wall mural pattern number 77411

Schmitz-Horning Company’s Wells Fargo scenic wall mural pattern, no. 77411.

Schmitz-Horning Company Wells Fargo scenic wall mural pattern number 77411 detail

Schmitz-Horning Company’s Wells Fargo scenic wall mural pattern, no. 77411, detail.

Schmitz-Horning Company Wells Fargo scenic wall mural pattern 77411 detail

Schmitz-Horning Company’s Wells Fargo scenic wall mural pattern, no. 77411, detail.

Schmitz-Horning Company Wells Fargo scenic wall mural pattern number 77412

Schmitz-Horning Company’s Wells Fargo scenic wall mural pattern, no. 77412.

Schmitz-Horning Company Wells Fargo scenic wall mural pattern number 77421

Schmitz-Horning Company’s Wells Fargo scenic wall mural pattern, no. 77421.

Schmitz-Horning Company Wells Fargo scenic wall mural pattern number 77422

Schmitz-Horning Company’s Wells Fargo scenic wall mural pattern, no. 77422.

Schmitz-Horning Company Anchor Inn scenic wall mural pattern number 77311

Schmitz-Horning Company’s Anchor Inn scenic wall mural pattern, no. 77311, a companion paper by the same artist and using the same color schemes.

Murals of America by Schmitz-Horning Wells Fargo pattern

A photograph of the Wells Fargo pattern in Schmitz-Horning Company’s Murals of America catalog.
Catalog description: Wells Fargo is a self-finishing vignette 12′ 8″ in length. It will cut down for shorter walls or will center nicely on much longer walls. There is excellent detail in this mural of a frontier town.

wells fargo mural at r e may litho plate company

Wells Fargo mural hanging in the offices of R.E. May, Inc. litho plate company as shown in this photo from a 1960s catalog. (Source: remay.com)


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.

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

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.

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

 

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.


The Schmitz-Horning Co. Featured in Architect Magazine

June 23, 2019

By Janet Dodrill

Architect Magazine published an article online June 6, 2019, titled Wallpaper Motifs of the 20th Century. In the article, the Building Technology Heritage Library (BTHL) highlights 11 pioneers in the evolution of 20th century wallpaper styles and motifs.

Online viewable catalogs are embedded in the article. A scanned original Schmitz-Horning Co. 1920 San-Kro-Mura Wall Decorations full catalog is included, showing printed wallpaper panels and murals with themes including medieval tapestries, modern tiles, and floral motifs, and more.

It is evident that the diversity and skill of Cleveland’s Schmitz-Horning’s staff artists helped the company to create a beautiful variety of murals and scenic designs produced onto high quality washable and affordable chromolithographs.

Links:

Architect Magazine, Wallpaper Motifs of the 20th Century, June 6, 2019
https://www.architectmagazine.com/practice/wallpaper-motifs-of-the-20th-century_o

Schmitz-Horning Co 1920 San-Kro-Mura Wall Decorations catalog
https://archive.org/details/San-kro-muraWallDecorations

 

 

Schmitz-Horning Company’s Chinese Embroidery wall mural pattern from the San-Kro-Mura Wall Decorations catalog.

Schmitz-Horning Company’s Chinese Embroidery wall mural pattern from the San-Kro-Mura Wall Decorations catalog.

Schmitz-Horning Company’s Chinese Floral wall decoration pattern from the San-Kro-Mura Wall Decorations catalog.

Schmitz-Horning Company’s Chinese Floral wall decoration pattern from the San-Kro-Mura Wall Decorations catalog.

Schmitz-Horning Company’s The Nymph wall mural pattern from the San-Kro-Mura Wall Decorations catalog.

Schmitz-Horning Company’s The Nymph wall mural pattern from the San-Kro-Mura Wall Decorations catalog.

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


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

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

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).


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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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.