HERKOMER, JOHN (1821-1913), a woodcarver born in Waal, Bavaria, practiced his craft in Cleveland from 1851-83 and is best known for the staircases and interior decorations he carved for the homes of prominent Cleveland families. Herkomer left Bavaria in the late 1840s and traveled to New York City. In 1851, he and his brother, Lorenz, set up a woodcarving and portrait shop, first in New York City, later in Rochester, and finally in Cleveland. In 1857, Lorenz and his family moved to England. John moved his woodcarving establishment to new quarters on Erie (E. 9th) St. He married Agnes King on 17 Oct. 1857 and had three children: Bertha, Josephine, and Herman. John and his family left for England in 1883 where he was employed by his nephew, Sir Hubert Herkomer, a famous painter living in Bushey, England, to design and carve interior decorations. Herkomer died in England.
Clevelanders who had residences decorated by Herkomer included JOHN HAY, SAMUEL ANDREWS, and Amasa Stone, Jr. The stairway of the original Hay house on Euclid Ave. was removed and incorporated into the Hay house on East Blvd. (later the WESTERN RESERVE HISTORICAL SOCIETY). Herkomer was also responsible for the lions' heads on the West Side Branch of the YMCA. Most of the homes he decorated have been torn down to make way for business and industry. Herkomer was one of the members of the original ART CLUB with ARCHIBALD WILLARD.
Baldry, A. L. Hubert von Herkomer R.A.: A Study and a Biography (1901).
Herkomer, Sir Hubert von. The Herkomers (1911).