Utrecht Art Supplies

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Utrecht Art Supplies
Private
Industry Fine Art Supply
Founded New York City, New York (1949)
Headquarters Brooklyn, U.S.
Number of locations
45
Website www.UtrechtArt.com

Utrecht Art Supplies is an international art supply store chain. The chain was founded in 1949 in New York City by artist Norman Gulamerian and his brother Harold Gulamerian. In 2013, Utrecht was acquired by Blick Art Materials and the two brands were merged.[1]

History[edit]

Norman and Harold Gulamerian were born in Brooklyn, New York. Harold Gulamerian was born in 1924 at the home of his parents who lived on 77th street in Bensonhurt. Norman Gulamerian was born at Lutheran Medical Center in 1927. Harold joined the army in 1943. As a senior at The High School of Music and Art, Norman enlisted in the Navy in 1945. After the war, Norman got his high school diploma and then went to Brooklyn College. Harold went to City College getting a degree in science and business administration and then a law degree. When Norman got home from the service he apprenticed himself to the artist Frederick Taubes (1900-1981). He primed Taubes' canvas and ground his paint. Norman, an artist himself, was having trouble finding unprimed linen. Harold suggested they import it from Belgium. That was the start of Utrecht Art Supplies. They sold their Belgian linen out of their basement in Brooklyn. The two brothers named their venture Utrecht Linens, Inc. and dedicated themselves to supplying artists with the "highest quality art materials and supplies for the best value."[2]

The Gulamerian brothers' artist supply business grew quickly. In 1957, they developed their revolutionary acrylic gesso for priming artist canvas. By the end of the early 1960s, they had expanded the Utrecht line to include professional-grade artist oil paints, acrylics, and watercolor supplies, sold at manufacturer-direct prices.[citation needed]

In 1951, they rented an office at 119 West 57th Street. In 1958, they rented factory space at Bush Terminal in Brooklyn, New York. In 1968, they opened their first retail store at 32 Third Avenue in New York City. They then opened locations in Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Washington DC, Berkeley, California, and San Francisco. By the time they sold their business in 1997, they had grown from a small space in Bush Terminal (now called Industry City) to 50,000 square feet and an additional 50,000 square feet of retail space. Norman Gulamerian is 89 years old and still paints everyday.[citation needed] Harold Gulamerian lived in Mill Neck on Long Island until his passing on September 5, 2012 at the age of 88.[3]

Today, Utrecht still mills its own premium artist paints and gesso at its Brooklyn, New York plant. The company is officially recognized with Gold Certification status by the Brooklyn Made program. This program, sponsored by the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, distinguishes Utrecht as a leading, locally based manufacturer and employer.[4]

Locations[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Blau, Reuven (February 9, 2014). "Utrecht Paint still a fixture in Brooklyn's Industry City". Daily News (New York).
  2. ^ "About Us". Utrecht Art Supplies. Retrieved June 23, 2017.
  3. ^ "In Memory of Harold Gulamerian: 1924 - 2012". Oyster Bay Funeral Home. Retrieved June 23, 2017.
  4. ^ Kumar, Dipti (December 16, 2014). "VIDEO: Utrecht Paints is definitely Brooklyn Made". Brooklyn Daily Eagle.