Viktor Schreckengost is perhaps one of the Cleveland area's best-loved "unknown" artists. Known the world over for his talents in art and industrial design, he was also known for avoiding the limelight and allowing his work to do his speaking for him.
In 1980, the International Printing Corporation of Cleveland, Ohio, commissioned work to be done for their second annual calendar on Cleveland, Ohio. Their goals were modest: "We wish to add one to the many voices that speak positively of our city while it makes the difficulty and circuitous journey through the maze of social, political, and economic puzzlements".
For this edition of their calendar, they chose Viktor Schreckengost to give his artistic interpretation of Cleveland. The results were simply beautiful.
The 12-page, large-format calendar features dramatically-rendered Cleveland scenes by Schreckengost himself...one for each month of the year. For native Clevelanders, his selections will definitely pull at the emotional heartstrings associated with their city.
- January: "Severance Hall"
- February: "Little Italy"
- March: "Over The Bridge"
- April: "Sacred Landmark"
- May: "Bend In The Cuyahoga"
- June: "Entrance To The City"
- July: "West Side Market"
- August: "Garfield's Monument"
- September: "Engine Number 21"
- October: "Liberty Boulevard"
- November: "Lakeside N. E."
- December: "Shaker Square"
The calendar is in large-format, measuring about 23 inches wide and 25 inches tall. Each of the calendar pages are printed in full-color on heavy-stock, textured paper. The front page of the calendar has some info on the purpose of the calendar, its designers, and Viktor Schreckengost himself.
I think near-mint is pretty accurate, especially considering it's over 30 years old. As far as I can see, the calendar's never been used. The cover is perforated at the top to easily tear it off the calendar, and the perforations are still very-much intact except for a half inch or so at the edges. The color and condition of each print is stellar...just stellar.
The calendar itself is quite heavy due to the quality of the paper used and size of the calendar (don't forget, it measures almost 2 feet square). It will be packed so that it remains flat but resistant to any bending, hence the shipping cost of $49.99. Insurance will automatically be included. Of course, local pick-up is also available within a 50-mile radius of then Cleveland, Ohio area.
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I doubt that many people have ever seen such a calendar as this, especially featuring such as prominent artist and designer as Viktor Schreckengost. I don't think I really need to say a whole lot more about this remarkable piece. Much like his work, this calendar was perhaps another embodiment of the philosophy underlying much of his work: why should only the wealthy have good design. Or art.
Typically, new re-prints of these same prints found in this calendar cost about $100 or more. With this calendar, you can not only get all 12 of the prints, you can also be in possession of a bit of Cleveland history, and a rare, hard-to-find piece of Schreckengost history as well.