For me, visiting the Utrecht store on 3rd Ave. in Manhattan was like going to Disneyland. An entire store dedicated to art supplies! Utrecht along with Pearl and other independent icons like David Davis made New York City a mecca for working artists.
Those days are gone. Pearl closed and when Utrecht’s founders, Harold and Norman Gulamerian, retired, Utrecht’s quality declined. This seems to be a standard story for established art supply providers: the founders leave and then quality leaves too. These days Utrecht is owned by the online superstore Blick.
Declining quality is so commonplace it’s no longer noteworthy. So when I recently ranted about Utrecht, it was to complain about their decision to stop producing the all-important flake white. Today I want to write about a reader’s response to that post.
Jennifer Pagano commented that her father is Utrecht’s founder, Norman Gulamerian, and she regrets my disappointment with Utrecht. Jennifer’s father was an artist and he created Utrecht in order to provide good materials to fellow artists at reasonable prices. He accomplished this goal in my opinion. When he died in 2020 from Covid-19, she inherited the large stock of Utrecht supplies still in his studio.
Jennifer generously offered to give me several tubes of Utrecht paint to assuage my disappointment. In this photo, you can see the paints that she sent me. The flake white is especially prized by artists.
As soon as I opened the box, I refilled my palette with the new colors and mixtures made using the Utrecht flake white, as you can see in the following photo.
With the new paint I put the final touches on this painting titled, Green Umbrella.
Thank you Jennifer for this unexpected and generous gift! I miss the old Utrecht even more!
Jennifer plans to put her dad’s remaining stock of art supplies on eBay.