Thursday, February 19, 2015

Billy at the Smithsonian

Clip of 1987 Duke Gallery 'Parade of Discovery' & photo from 1941 Times-Star article

"Under the direction of Mr. William E. Hentschel, a class in commercial art and advertising will be a feature of the summer session of the Art Academy of Cincinnati that starts on Monday June 17. In a world where a great premium is placed on publicity, the commercial artist with a thorough background and training will be the artist whose work will be in demand. The national defense program has called countless artists to aid in warning the country of its peril and many more will be called in the future. It would be wise for young commercial artists to be prepared.

Leather Work (in pochoir) exhibit & 1st Aquatone (pochoir) exhibit handbills

To work with Mr. Hentschel is considered one of the most valuable privileges of studying at the Art Academy. Former students at the Art Academy, by the importance of their positions and their success, testify to the excellence of Mr. Hentschel’s instruction. Long experience in all fields of commercial art has enabled Mr. Hentschel to speak and teach with authority, for he has lent his talents to such great and diverse fields as glass, leather, metals, pottery, silk and publishing.

Monkeys, somewhat foxed, early Hentschel pochoir with free hand detail

 His ceramics are to be seen in the Metropolitan Museum of New York and he has an exhibition of the technique of air brush painting on display at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. His attractive air brush prints are to be seen in many cities from coast to coast where they have enjoyed a wide vogue.
Mr. Hentschel’s earliest training was at the famous Art Students’ League of New York. He continued his preparation for his profession here in Cincinnati at the Art Academy where he now teaches. Associated as designer with the Rookwood Pottery for many years, he is at present one of the driving forces in the new Kenton Hills pottery across the river in Kentucky.
The commercial art and advertising class which Mr. Hentschel teaches meets each Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoon from 1 until 4 o’clock, June 16 through Aug. 9. Other classes that will be given during the summer session at the Art Academy include “Drawing and Painting” with Mr. Myer Abel and “Landscape Painting” led by Mr. Reginald L. Grooms. For further information call CHerry 8792."

--Cincinnati Times-Star, June 12, 1941

The Smithsonian's Rookwood pottery by WEH

"I checked with staff with responsibility over the graphic arts collections in the Culture and the Arts Division, American History Museum. They stated:
"Yes, we have several air-brushed stencil prints by Hentschel. There is a series of proofs and stencils, as shown in the 1977 Pochoir exhibition. We have two other Hentschel stencil prints, a larger fish subject dated 1939, and a bird and flower subject received in 1983.
Aquatones are a different process, a form of screened collotype. One of the firms using the patent license was Edward Stern & Co. of Philadelphia. 

I don't believe Hentschel is connected with the Aquatone process, but obviously someone used the term in relation to his work, as you cited in the original message.
None of our Hentschel prints have been imaged." 
Images of the Rookwood Pottery may be found on our Collections Search page. Search on Hentschel and it will pull up an image of the bowl (accession # 1966-3-20) and vase (accession # 1966-3-18)."
Eric Grace, Office of Visitor Services, Smithsonian (, July 23, 2013
Proof, 3rd stencil and catalog text for 1977 Smithsonian Pochoir exhibit

"Pochoir [\(ˈ)pōsh¦wär\] means stenciling. It is a French name used for a very special application of the ancient stencil process, introduced in France in the late 1800s and developed to a peak—in France and elsewhere—in the years before the Great Depression. The number of pochoir workshops has dwindled ever since…In the United States pochoir has never had the same success as in France…William E. Hentschel, whose pochoir Green Fish is shown in Part 6 of the exhibition, was something of an exception. Hentschel (1892-1962) was an illustrator, commercial artist and instructor at the Cincinnati Art Academy where he spent most of his active life. His work in commercial design introduced him to the airbrush, a rather new invention, and also to stencil printing. He became a master of both and used them with great skill in his decorative designs, such as Green Fish, as well as in purely commercial applications."

--The Art of Pochoir, Smithsonian Institution Press, 1977

Images: Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati Public Library newspaper archive, Private Collection, Smithsonian Institution
Pochoir background: Smithsonian Libraries, the link to 'Explore the Collection' does not show entire collection

Thursday, January 1, 2015

They’re Disciplined—And They Like It.

Of The Enquirer Staff

IN THIS SHOW, the adults are still running things. And the kids like it.
It started out that way 29 years ago, when Mme. Feodorova wielded a strong hand over a select group of that generation’s young ballroom dancers. It continues today, with 11-to-14-year-olds lapping up a lot of good, old fashioned discipline.
Until recently, the Town Class, as it’s called, shied from publicity. Now its sponsors have invited a spotlight to illustrate how boys and girls respond to hearing en masse what they heard at home.
“NO CHILD wants to be an oddball. This is sort of mob psychology,” says Mr. George Gallas, who has been director of the class since 1952.
“I want every boy who is chewing gum to get rid of it. The girls, too.” Mr. Gallas announced at the spring party of sixth graders.
A few unabashed dancers parked their offending wads, hardly interrupting their participation in a fox trot contest.
“Posture is what counts. If it’s bad, I don’t even look at their feet,” confided Mr. Callas, as he kept his judge’s eyes on the contest.

WITH NO EXCEPTIONS, the girls in the class of 125 wore two wardrobe “musts” for their age group, white ankle socks and white cotton gloves. With few exceptions, the boys sported dark suits. An occasional plaid coat was explained away by Mr. Gallas as allowable because it was a party.
“Children should know the difference between behavior in a ballroom and on a football field,” said Mr. Gallas, pointing a friendly finger at a group sitting down after a dance number.
“Boys! Remain standing until the girls sit down,” he called out. “And, girls, sit up. Backs straight.”
...saying good night to Mr. & Mrs. Robert D. Metzner are Alison Ahrens and Charles F. Williams

Similar scenes are repeated on 24 Friday evenings during the school year, alternating with fifth and seventh graders in one-and-one-half-hour sessions each week, sixth and eighth graders on a similar schedule the other week. The setting is the Veronese Room at the Hotel Alms.
SETTING POLICY is a board of 12 mothers, representing different schools in the city. The classes are by invitation, but not confined to private schools. When the 125-member quota for each class is filled it is closed.
Fritz Gardner asks Stephanie Block for a dance.

Standing by, not only as a board member but as counselor, is Mme. Feodorova, known in private life as Mrs. Halina Hentschel.* Her name has been “sacred” to parents seeking poise for their children, ever since the former ballet dancer came here from Russia with Pavlova, and stayed.
“Social etiquette—or deportment—comes first in the classes, ballroom dancing second,” said Mr. Gallas who, with his wife, performed as a professional dancer for several years all over the world.

The white gloves apply to girls in all the classes, but the ankle socks are allowed to give way to stockings for the seventh and eighth graders.
“Children want to be told what to do. Then they conform,” Mr. Gallas said from wide experience.

THEIR CONFORMITORY seemed in no way to dampen the fun of the evening, as some of them tried the newer dances, others stuck securely to the fox trot.
Every lesson, the class’ director said, has to be repeated constantly, on the theory that only by repetition can the actions become natural.

“That’s why I keep telling the boys to say, ‘May I have this dance?’ There is no other way to say it.”
For the boys, the lessons include the proper way to hand a girl a cup of punch, at refreshment time, and the proper way to hold a girl while dancing. For the girls, they include the constant reminder that when walking to a door they should stand back to allow the boy to open it for them.

FOR BOTH BOYS AND GIRLS, it’s the trip down the receiving line, at the end of the evening, where stress is put on shaking hands firmly while looking the adult host and hostess in the face, and on saying “good evening” in a clear voice.
“It’s one and one-half hours of constantly drumming in good behavior and poise,” summarized Mr. Gallas.

--As printed in The Cincinnati Enquirer, May 23, 1965

*Four years after his death and 26 years after their divorce, Halina Feodorova must have still wanted the association with William Hentschel even as Billy's widow, across the Ohio river in Kentucky, was recovering portions of his trashed W&S mural.

Images: Cincinnati Public Library Newspaper Archive