Our History

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HANDCRAFTED IN BROOKLYN SINCE 1949

FOR OVER 70 YEARS, UTRECHT HAS PROUDLY PROVIDED THE HIGHEST QUALITY PAINT AT AN EXCEPTIONAL VALUE FROM OUR HISTORIC MILL IN BROOKLYN, NEW YORK. LEARN MORE ABOUT UTRECHT'S LEGACY THROUGH THE YEARS AND HOW IT HAS BECOME ONE OF THE MOST BELOVED ART SUPPLY BRANDS.

1920s

THE GULAMERIAN BROTHERS

Harold and Norman Gulamerian were born in New York City to immigrant parents from Armenia.

1940s

NYC, ART CAPITAL OF THE WORLD

Both brothers served in WWII. Later, Norman apprenticed under the painter Frederic Taubes. By the mid-20th century, New York City was the epicenter of the art world and demand for affordable, quality art supplies was growing.

1949

AN IMPORT BUSINESS WAS STARTED

A painter in his own right, Norman noticed a gap in the market for unprimed artists’ linen. He teamed up with Harold and together they began to import linen directly from a textile plant in Belgium. They named the business Utrecht in honor of the local New Utrecht High School in Brooklyn.

1950s

SUPPORTING ARTISTS

The brothers used their early catalogs to showcase artists and feature lessons in art history and technique from experts. They also developed relationships with artists and art institutions throughout New York City, providing guidance on the use of artists’ materials.

1957

NEW PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT

By 1957, the brothers had developed their own revolutionary acrylic gesso for priming canvas, introducing unprecedented simplicity to the canvas preparation process while also making it possible to paint on a wide range of surfaces.

1958

ACRYLIC PAINT

The brothers moved the business to Industry City in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, where they had space to mill paint. Harold went on to create Utrecht Artists’ Acrylics, followed by Utrecht Artists’ Oil Colors and Watercolors.

1963

PROFESSIONAL LINES

A full line of Professional Artists’ Acrylics was soon developed, followed by artists’ oils and Watercolors. All were manufactured in the Brooklyn mill. That same year, Norman published a book entitled “The Language of a Work of Art.”

1966

BRICK AND MORTAR

The brothers opened their first store in Manhattan on Third Avenue. Artists and students discovered that they could rely on the superior quality and manufacturer direct prices of Utrecht products while knowledgeable staff provided expert advice.

1970s

ART's BEST-KEPT SECRET

Utrecht began to expand their brand, opening stores throughout the East Coast and eventually the country. The brand gained a cult following, becoming a best-kept secret among students and professional artists alike.

1990s

EXPANSION

Through partnerships with global manufacturers, Utrecht began to offer thousands of products to artists of every discipline. A final wave of expansion near the end of the century cemented Utrecht’s place as one of the country’s most beloved art supply brands.

2000s

A TRUSTED RESOURCE

Utrecht launched a Resource Guide. More than a catalog, it was designed as a teaching tool with information about how to use art materials effectively, safely, and with the joyful sense of play at the heart of the Utrecht brand.

2013

BLICK ACQUIRES UTRECHT

Blick Art Materials acquired 45 retail stores and the historic Utrecht paint manufacturing mill in Brooklyn. Today, Blick maintains the integrity of the beloved brand while expanding the Utrecht line of products.

2015

BROOKLYN MADE & GOLD CERTIFIED

Utrecht was officially recognized with Gold Certification status by the Brooklyn Made program. Sponsored by the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, the Brooklyn Made program recognizes the company as a leading, locally based manufacturer and employer.

2018

CADMIUM-FREE PAINTS

Committed to providing safe supplies for artists, Blick expands the Utrecht brand by unveiling Utrecht Cadmium-Free Artists’ Colors available in oils, acrylics, and watercolors. The cadmium-free line is the result of a 3-1/2 year development process.

2020

A NEW GENERATION OF ARTISTS

More than 70 years after its founding, the Utrecht brand continues to adapt to the needs of a new generation of artists around the country.