Schile, H.


The seventies  18, 36, 56, and 62 Division Street

Though often German in source or character, often bearing titles in foreign languages, for the convenience of immigrants, and invariably and outrageously crude in conception, composition, drawing, and lithography, Schile’s prints are undoubtedly American in spirit, because they so vividly represent the “melting pot” from which they came and for which they were made. They are all late and near the end of our story at best, but are so numerous and so often have very real American record value to consider.

Three large turf prints should be noted: “The First Meeting. Jerome Park, N. Y. Coming In. Painted by Geo. Schlegel, 97 William St. N.Y….1873”; “Spring Meeting.  Jerome Park. Coming In”; and “Summer Meeting at Long Branch, N. Y. Start.”

Schile seems to have sensed that his public would devour the history of their new country, because there is a long series of big, flamboyant historical prints, such as ‘Columbus before Isabella,” “Departure of Columbus.”

“Daniel Boone Protects his Family,” n.d., large, folio-which is typical -“Pocahontas.” “Washington Family.”

“Across the Continent. Passing the Humboldt River” –with title repeated in German, 1870, large, folio, and the best of the group, reproduced in color to show how far they could go.

There is also a group of crude views, such as “Central Park, N.Y. Preparing for a Drive,” “Central Park, N.Y. Feeding the Swans,” ‘Central Park, N. Y.  Winter Sports,” “Panorama of the Cattskill Mts.,” “West Point on the Hudson,” “Rome,” etc.

But most frequent, of course, are the innumerable gaudy sentimentals, such as “Sunday Sports,” “My Protector,” “Innocence,” “War,”  “Christmas Tree,”  “The Pride of the Harbor,”“The Pride of the Ocean,”  “Farewell,” “Mother’s Grave,” and the like. If the families of the trim, white, isolated houses of New England had their Kellogg sentimentals, the swarming tenements of New York had their Schile heart throbs, and though the craftsmanship was miles apart, the essential appeal was the same.

They did an extremely large quantity, all folios. I have never seen a small print by them, which is quite unique. Most of Schile’s prints are on heavy black paper. But they appear on all types of paper from the thinnest to the very thickest. The coloring is so crude in many that it beggars description.  When asked who made the best once, I declined to answer, but replied that quite surely Schile made the worst. Yet in spite of that they have real spirit of lithography.