The Gallery at Old Stone

Ted: A Retrospective on Forty Years of Cleveland Advertising Photography”

Ted Wetzler/Wetzler Studios, Inc.

Credit: Ted Wetzler/Wetzler Studios, Inc.

June 8, 2014 through August 13, 2014
Monday through Friday • 9am – 4pm

Opening Reception: Sunday, June 8 • noon – 1pm

Ted Wetzler, who recently passed away, was a member of Old Stone Church. He was a highly-recognized photographer here in Cleveland. His business, Wetzler Studios, is still in business today, currently being run by his children. His images in advertising, promotional materials, and greeting cards continue to be used at Old Stone.

Ted Wetzler (b. 1935, d. 2013) was born into photography. His father, Gus Wetzler, came from his native Hungary and studied photography in a studio in New York City. After serving in World War 1 as a reconnaissance photographer, Gus set his sights on owning his own business, and moved west, ending up with relatives in Cleveland, and opened Wetzler Studios in 1923.

Ted began working at the studio as a youngster, delivering packages via the streetcar. After graduating from Butler College, and a tour in the U.S. Army, Ted rejoined the family business full-time in January, 1960. At the time, Wetzler Studios was one of the largest commercial photography studios in Cleveland.

Ted set up his own studios at 55 Public Square in the early 1970′s, establishing relationships with many of the prominent advertising agencies who also called the 55 building home. Ted moved around the building, from suite 1160 to 1323 to 1422, before moving back to 2240 Prospect Avenue to take on the role of President following the passing of his brother Tom, in 1985.

During his time in the business, Ted saw many changes, both in technology and in people. He always believed in relationships and results: give the customers results, and you will establish a long and mutually beneficial relationship. And that’s what he did, with agency folk at Artist Studios; Ad/Art Studios; Carr Liggett (Liggett-Stashower); Dix & Eaton, Lang, Fisher, & Stashower (Liggett-Stashower); Griswold-Eshelman (Griswold); Hartzell Inc, Marcus Thomas; Meldrum & Fewsmith; and Wyse, to mention but a few of the luminaries in the world of advertising that he worked with.

Ted was in his glory when working on location, in a manufacturing facility or factory. He relished the opportunity to problem solve, and photographing in the challenging confines of a large plant allowed him to shine.

His children, Vicki, Margaret and Rob, all joined the business in the 1990′s, and eventually Ted turned over ownership to them. He and his wife, Helen, moved from their long time Lakewood residence to North Ridgeville in 2005, called in the next day and announced he had retired, thus ending a very successful, and very memorable 45-year career. The works in this exhibit are but a sliver of the contributions he made to the Cleveland advertising community.

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The Gallery at Old Stone is located in the Old Stone Church on Public Square and can be accessed through the side entrance at 1380 Ontario Street.