A very brief history of acrylic paint

May 1, 2012 9:54 pm

In 1931 the first acrylic product to be used in any volume was perspex in the U.K. and plexiglas in America which was used as a replacement in the aircraft of World War II.

In 1949 Leonard Bocour, founder of Bocour Artists Colors, Inc. (now GOLDEN Artist Colors) In America, offered a limited range of acrylic paints marketed under the name Magna. They were sold in solution form dissolved with turpentine and could be mixed with oil paints.

Starting in the late 1940s and through the 1950s famous artists such as Moris Louis, Kenneth Noland, Mark Rothko, Robert Motherwell, Barnett Newman and Roy Lichtenstien were associated with using these “new” paints developed by Bocour.

By 1953 the first true acrylic paints were introduced by Rцhm and Haas as interior wall paints.

In 1955 Permanent Pigments developed the first commercially available water-based acrylic paint. The paint is called Liquitex, for “liquid texture”. The first water-based acrylic mediums and varnish are developed: Gloss Medium & Varnish, and Matte Medium.

In 1962 M. Grumbacher (Schmincke, American) introduced new Hyplar Acrylic colors and had perfected their formula by 1966.

In 1963 Daler Rowney released their Cryla acrylic artists’ color line and have been pioneers in developing the acrylic market in Europe.

By 1963 the wide-availability of thicker consistency Liquitex tube colors enticed many prominent artists to experiment. Helen Frankenthaler, Andy Warhol, and Robert Motherwell in the U.S. continued to developed their own signature styles using the new medium and very soon U.K. Artists like Bridget Riley and David Hockney brought their ideas home using acrylics.

By 1971 Winsor & Newton was the last major art supply manufacturer to develop their own line, although new brands have surfaced in the decades since.


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