Established in 1875, Althouse and Geiger is the oldest painting, decorating and signwriting business in Australia. Being a leader within the Painting Industry they were founding members of the Master Painters Association in 1901 and are still very active in the MPA. Our staff retain that "old world charm" which gives our clients "great satisfaction" How many businesses can say they are into their "second century of business"? We must be doing something right!
The glass painting represents an excellent example of the decorative signwriting and painting employed in commercial advertising at the turn of the century. The painting was specifically commissioned by the firm, Althouse & Geiger to display the mastery of their tradesmen in lettering, marbling, gilding and pictorial work, then at their height. The painting is thus a rare example of a trade’s ‘self-portrait’, comparable to the trade union banners that the firm regularly executed. It shows the high aspirations developed by such skilled trades in the 19th century.
The founders of the firm, J. Althouse and F.A. Geiger, were tradesmen from Philadelphia who migrated together to Sydney in 1875 and established the business that has continuously operated in Sydney for well over a century. When the painting was executed, the firm’s work was regarded as the finest of its type. A contemporary account of the firm from The Australian Decorator & Painter Journal of 1.12.1909 records that the two founders had ‘studied drawing and painting at the Art Society’s classes... The firm’s advent made a lasting impression upon the trade...the artistic character of the work they carried out did much to develop an appreciation of good sign work...’ The painting is a virtuoso display and in recognition of its achievement it was awarded first prize in the Painters & Decorators Exhibition of 1918.
Anne Stephens and Len Sims, 2001
Our Master Painters provide the following services: