The ART CLUB (also known as the Old Bohemians and the City Hall Colony) was founded by ARCHIBALD WILLARD in 1876. The group was initially composed of artists and friends, primarily of German extraction, who met at Willard's studio in the Union Natl. Bank Bldg. to discuss art and draw from live models. Later in 1876, after the group acquired rooms in City Hall in the Case Block, its aims were defined: to furnish instruction in drawing and painting of the same standard provided in foreign schools; to present exhibitions and lectures; and to assist art students. Prominent members of the group were Geo. Grossman, FREDERIC C. GOTTWALD, JOHN SEMON, Louis Loeb, Herman and JOHN HERKOMER, Daniel and Emil Wehrschmidt, Arthur Schneider, Chas. Henry Niehaus, and Max Bohm. Grossman later left Cleveland to found a New York City artists' colony. Semon achieved national prominence as a landscapist. Loeb became an illustrator for Harper's magazine. The Wehrschmidts eventually taught and painted in Bushey, near London. Schneider became court painter to the Sultan of Morocco. Neihaus became a prominent sculptor, and Max Bohm a successful mural painter in France. The club members fostered the Cleveland Art School, which operated out of the clubrooms until city officials required the space for additional offices in 1898. Soon after losing its clubrooms, the group dissolved. The Art Club should not be confused with 2 other groups, the Cleveland Arts Club or the later (1925) Cleveland Art Club.

Article Categories