“Butch” Irvin Schramm is well known in Michigan for both his duck decoys and his simply painted “fish.” His “Harlequin” decoys, so called because their patterning suggests the costume of the traditional theatrical character, are painted in bold black and white quadrants. Lacking identifying features, such as eyes and specific dorsal fins, Schramm’s “Harlequins” do not represent a particular species, but are intended to catch the eye of any passing fish.
Lynda Roscoe Hartigan Made with Passion: The Hemphill Folk Art Collection in the National Museum of American Art (Washington, D.C. and London: National Museum of American Art with the Smithsonian Institution Press, 1990)
“Butch” Irvin Schramm lived in New Baltimore, Michigan, in the first half of the twentieth century (Kimball, The Fish Decoy, vol. I, 1986). He created several decoys showing the harlequin fish, named for its distinctive black-and-white stripes.