THE OUTSIDE COMES INSIDE

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>