Breweriana - Preserving the History of the American Brewing Industry

June 24 – September 24, 2017

This exhibit portrays America’s brewing past through industry packaging and advertising over the past 130 years. The term “Breweriana” refers to any article containing a brewery name or brand name, particularly collectibles. Hundreds of breweries will be represented by a wide array of objects from tin signs and trays to cans, bottles, coasters and taps. Most of the breweries are long gone, but visitors will recognize the names of the cities and small towns where they once thrived. The diversity of items will quench your thirst for beauty, history, wit and comedy.

 Were beer advertisements in 1916 any different than todays? Yes and no. Beautiful people and sexy women were common. Humor was also used, often by showing serious people doing silly things. But there were eye-catching differences, too. When breweries wanted to show how productive they were, they showed their plants spewing out smoke from their stacks and sometimes exaggerated the size of their brewery. Another popular motif was to link the beer to Germany or England. Illustrations abound of people dressed in European clothing while drinking beer in their drawing rooms, at the local pub or while taking a break from a fox hunt. Of course any time we look back a hundred years we are surprised by the stereotypes that were acceptable in that age. The brewing industry was no different than its times.

 Today regional and microbreweries are popping up all over. One might call it a revival of 19th century American production styles, similar to Europe’s ongoing approach. Imagine a time when many towns (and all cities) had their own brewery and you’ll have an idea of the diversity of places and brands represented in the show. Typically, breweries were located near rivers and canals to allow transportation of both raw materials and finished beer. Take a look at just one river in Ohio, the Tuscarawas, which begins in southern Summit County and continues through Stark, Tuscarawas and Coshocton Counties, eventually adding to the Mississippi. While only 130 miles in length, 27 breweries used it or its adjacent canal for transportation. You’ll see on display photos, signs, and trays from many of these breweries, such as Giessen & Bakers Brewery (Canton), The Massillon Brewing Co., Dover Brewery, and The Tuscarawas Valley Brewing Company (Niles).

 Coshocton County is eminently suited to host such an extensive and unique display of brewing advertising. The specialty advertising industry was launched in Coshocton in 1884. It began when newspaper man Jasper Meek made use of his steam printing press to lithograph a shoe store ad onto a burlap school bag. Only a few years later (1890), Henry Beach, Meek’s competitor, developed a process to lithograph on metal signs using a steam press, a first worldwide. As a result Coshocton became the center of advertising art in America and perhaps, for a time, in the world. By the turn of the 20th century, there were more artists living in Coshocton than in any other American city, barring New York. They were creating images for signs and trays, most of which advertised breweries or beer from all over the United States and even Europe. After prohibition was enacted in 1920, a number of companies went out of business; others survived by switching to advertising soda or making calendars. The Meek Company, renamed American Art Works, became known for its Coca Cola trays.

 The Johnson-Humrickhouse Museum’s Breweriana exhibit is one of the largest displays dedicated to the history of beer in America. Unlike Germany and other European nations, the US has no federal museum dedicated to beer. (A few private museums have been started in the past ten years.) Consequently, the exhibit is a must-see, not only for its historical value but for its wonderful graphic art. 


The Ohio Arts Council also helped fund this event with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans. 

Pushing the Surface 2017

On display May 6th - June 18th, 2017

The exhibition features 26 contemporary art quilts created by artists from seven states and one international country, Israel. The artists were asked to display two art quilts--an early piece along with a new one. The pleasure in a retrospective exhibit of this sort is seeing how the artist and the art form itself has altered or perhaps matured over the years.

For those unfamiliar with the art quilt genre, these works value creativity and experimental techniques rather than the classic form and hand-stitched meticulousness of a traditional quilt. Although most of the works share the basic structural characteristics of a quilt—joining at least two layers of fiber with stitching, they break from tradition in their design methods. Surfaces may be pieced and patched as one finds in a traditional quilt, but they may also be painted, dyed, laser printed, appliquéd or fused. The techniques are as varied as the subject matter, which is as varied as the effects. In the end the artists create a truly new statement that speaks to mind and spirit like all great art is meant to do.

Most of the artists have shown in previous Pushing the Surface exhibits over the past 20 years. Each has a distinctive style and the cultivation of their artistry over the years has produced even more intriguing expressions. Ohio artists include Clare Murray Adams, John Lefelhocz, Carolyn Mann Brinkhaven and Susan Shie. All have shown in national or regional exhibits and have their quilts featured in books, periodicals and traveling exhibitions. The exhibit is truly a dance of color, beauty, ingenuity and story.

This is the tenth year Johnson-Humrickhouse Museum has presented this biennial exhibit sponsored by the Mary Taylor Family. 


The Ohio Arts Council also helped fund this event with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans. 



Remembering the Great War

 August 13, 2016-December 31, 2016

        Remembering the Great War: the 100th Anniversary of WWI. This exhibit features uniforms, medals, swords, ordnances, an assortment of regulation supplies, trench art and propaganda posters. Over 40 firearms--rifles, pistols, revolvers, lugers, and bayonets are included. A number of the our displays focus on soldiers from Ohio. For example, Coshocton residents will enjoy seeing an officer's uniform and quartermaster footlocker owned by Coshocton soldier, G. B. Brode. Photos and medals from two other local soldiers, Oliver Buser and Friend Powell, are also displayed. Buser and Powel served in the US 332nd Infantry Division, and their division helmet features a griffin logo that can be seen. Although military gear issued by the American, German, British and French governments constitutes most of the exhibit, personal items are also included. 

      Many of the relics are unique collectibles such as the Imperial German presentation swords. One has an ivory hilt and lion-head pommel. The blade is inscribed with the recipient's name, Oswald Fritzsche. Soldiers also personalized their helmets and gas mask bags with "trench art", created either while on the battlefield or soon afterwards. An exceptional example of trench art is the German infantry helmet that was altered after the war. After painting it gray, the veteran attached the brass eagle plate from the pickelhaube, the Prussian spiked dress Infantry helmet. A number of Allied hate belts are also on display. These popular war souvenirs were made from the leather belt of a newly deceased or captured German soldier. The victorious soldier claimed the belt and then festooned it with buttons and tabs from the defeated solider and then added his own medals and pins. One British hate belt is particularly elaborate, covered end to end with insignias, buttons, and medals.

     This exhibit also features gear and souvenir groupings from single soldiers. An example of one such grouping is that of Edmund Arsenault. It contains about 25 items including his tunic with 42nd Division (Rainbow) patch, various stripes, eating and grooming gear, the handbook "Notes on German Artillery Material", the book Speak French A Book for Soliders, and some postcards bought while he was with the Army Occupation in Germany after the war. Another grouping was used by Professor S. Wells, an African American solider from Ramage, West Virginia. This grouping includes his camouflaged 2nd Division helmet, gas mask with filled out usage-card, and souvenir German canteen and gas mask. Although it was unusual for African American soldiers in uniform to have photos taken, one can be seen of Wells in the form of a postcard that he sent to his wife. His collection was kept in his ship carry-on bag.

      This fascinating exhibit about a horrible period in modern history will appeal to collectors, history buffs, and all who are interested in human resourcefulness. This exhibit is sponsored by Auer Ace Hardware in Coshocton. Thank you to The Ohio Arts Council who also helped fund this event with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence, and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans.

Teen-Age Talent 2017


The Johnson-Humrickhouse is pleased to present Teen-Age Talent on April 1 through April 30. This special exhibit features over 100 works by 45 artists from local high schools. Participating high schools include Coshocton, Ridgewood, Coshocton Christian, Coshocton Opportunity, and home schools. Overall the exhibit is composed of a variety of media, from watercolors, acrylics and pastels, to photography, printmaking and 3-D.

 Works for Teen-Age Talent were chosen for their outstanding quality by art teachers Myrtle Beall (Coshocton HS), Carissa Dickerson (Ridgewood HS), Raylene DeLuca (Coshocton Christian School and home school), and Joan Staufer (Coshocton Opportunity School and home school ). The artwork will be judged in three categories: Two-dimensional, 3-Dimensional, and Graphic Arts. Judges for the show are Dr. Yan Sun (Muskingum University art professor) and Todd Malenke (artist)  


A special display of artwork by Chinese high schoolers will also be exhibited. On a recent trip to China Dr. Yan Sun collected thirteen works for display. It will be interesting to see how these works differ in subject matter and style from those created by Coshocton County students.


 With good reason Teen-Age Talent has been a favorite exhibit for 27 years. Museum hours through May are 12:00 to 4:00 P.M. Tuesday through Sunday. During the month of April the museum is offering One Dollar Wednesday to Coshocton County residents. Admission will be $1 for adults and free for students. Teen-Age Talent is sponsored by MFM Building Products Corp. The Ohio Arts Council helped fund this program with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans.



A Playground of Color
This favorite community show features over 200 
works, wonderful expressions of talent, freshness and energy. Artwork is made by students in kindergarten through sixth grade who attend elementary and middle schools in Coshocton’s city and county schools, as well as from Coshocton Christian School and home school. Works are chosen by the students’ art teachers for their creativity and excellence. 


 "It’s an awesome way to make a child feel important…successful."




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  1. Teen-Age Talent 2016

Johnson Humrickhouse Museum
300 N. Whitewoman Street
Coshocton, OH 43812
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