Lorenz Schwartz Biography

Lorenz Schwartz was an extremely talented bookbinder, active in the United States from approximately 1906 to the late 1920s. He worked for Otto Zahn at both S.C. Toof and the Zahn Bindery, was a member of Elbert Hubbard’s Roycrofters, and spent time at the Monastery Hill Bindery in Chicago, as well.

Schwartz was born in Denmark near the Schleswig-Holstein region in 1876, and became an apprentice in a bindery in the region at the age of 14. After studying bookbinding in Germany under Hans Bauer, he emigrated to the United States in 1904. He initially spent some time in Iowa and Chicago, before settling in Memphis, Tennessee with Otto Zahn and the bindery at S.C. Toof (and later, the Zahn Bindery). Schwartz eventually became the Chief Instructor at The Zahn School of Art Bookbinding, circa 1909 (and held the same title at the “Roycroft Trades School” in East Aurora, New York around the same time period).

He worked with both Zahn and The Roycrofters up through 1912, when he moved to East Aurora to work at the Roycroft Shop full time. He remained there until Elbert Hubbard’s death aboard the Lusitania in 1915, and then traveled to Chicago, Illinois to work with The Monastery Hill Bindery from 1915 to 1928.

In 1928, he returned to East Aurora and worked for The Roycrofters for a short period of time before his retirement from the craft. He died in 1947, leaving behind two sons.

If you have Zahn Bindery, Roycrofters, or Monastery Hill Bindery volumes to sell, please send me an email at: nolan@underthehillbooks.com

(One of the few known images of Schwartz)