Agenda for Decorative Arts SIG Meeting, Wednesday, March 27, 2019

The Decorative Arts Special Interest Group will be meeting at the ARLIS/NA national conference in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, March 27 at 12:30pm in the Vienna room, 3rd Floor.  All who are interested in the decorative arts are welcome to attend.  Here is the agenda for the meeting:

  • Attendee introductions
  • Decorative Arts bibliography as a shared and growing document
  • Updates on the proposed digitization of Crockery and Glass
  • Information sharing within the SIG (blog, Slack, Google Drive, what is the best platform or platforms?)
  • Blog posts—who is interested in contributing?
  • Interest in creating a resource list of libraries with significant holdings in the area of the Decorative Arts
  • Interest in creating a decorative arts consortium for web archiving
  • Brainstorming ideas for session proposals for 2020 in St. Louis


Questions?  Feel free to contact Beth Hylen,, or Beth Goodrich, for more information.  We look forward to seeing you in Salt Lake City!

Decorative Arts SIG hosting a panel at ARLIS/NA 2019 conference in Salt Lake City

The Decorative Arts SIG will be hosting a panel on Thursday, March 28th, at the ARLIS/NA 2019 conference in Salt Lake City. This panel, titled “Material Culture in Utah and the West: Insights from Decorative and Fine Arts Objects,” will feature three Utah-area experts who will discuss traditional and non-traditional fine and decorative arts of Utah and the West.

Leslie Anderson of the Utah Museum of Fine Arts will explore art of the American West and objects created in other regions in her talk, “Challenging the Canon with the Permanent Collection: American and Regional Art at the UMFA.” Adrienne Decker will discuss the Utah Folk Arts Program, a state program that features a permanent collection of art pieces created by living tradition bearers in her talk, “This is Our Place: Utah’s Traditional Arts Landscape.” Josh Probert, from Brigham Young University’s Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship, will examine objects made by the members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in relationship to the transatlantic world from which they emigrated in his presentation, “Mormon Iconography in the Decorative Arts as a Strategy of Identity during the Nineteenth Century.”

These three dynamic presentations will shed light on how the environs of the West and the historic context of human interaction with this unique region have shaped the artistic output of fine and decorative artists.

We look forward to seeing everyone at the panel on Thursday and in Salt Lake City for the rest of the conference.

Kathy Woodrell and Katie Monroe


by Elizabeth Broman and Parsons Masters Program student Margaret Gaines

 Schmitz-Horning Co. wall decoration catalogue
“The Forest” scenic wallpaper panel illustration, Schmitz-Horning Co. wall decoration trade catalogue, 1913-1914. Published by Schmitz-Horning Co., Cleveland, Ohio. Cooper Hewitt Design Library

This Schmitz-Horning Co. wall decoration catalogue from 1913-1914 is one of the Cooper Hewitt Design Library’s many trade catalogues. Schmitz-Horning Co. opened in 1905 as a wallpaper and mural manufacturing firm in Cleveland, Ohio. The company focused on making large, wallpaper friezes (murals) and was one of the first companies to develop a washable, color wallpaper printed with oils that you cleaned with a damp cloth or sponge.

Sankro-Mura sanitary wallcovering from the Schmitz-Horning Co.
Sankro-Mura sanitary wallcovering from the Schmitz-Horning Co.

San-kro-mura, one of the original “sanitary” wall coverings, were easy to clean without their colors fading.

Various panoramic friezes from the Schmitz-Horning Co.
Various panoramic friezes from the Schmitz-Horning Co.

The muted colors and illustrative style of the Arts & Crafts movement period are featured in this color trade catalog from 1912-13. The company produced panoramic views of mountains, deserts, forests, lakes, and scenic narratives of folklore and history. The catalog states they make possible “Art in the Home.”

Kindergarten Cut-Outs wallcovering frieze
Kindergarten Cut-Outs wallcovering frieze

Wallcoverings for children’s rooms featured the Wizard of Oz, nursery rhymes, and motifs with dolls. The Cooper Hewitt Museum owns 111 pieces from the Schmitz-Horning Co., two of which are from the time period shown in this catalog. The frieze Kindergarten Cut-outs, was in the 2007 exhibition “Wall Stories: Children’s Wallpapers and Books”.

Reprinted from the Cooper Hewitt’s Object of the Day blog, December 17, 2017.