This will be about my views on what it takes to put a three dimensional world onto a two dimensional surface. With a lot of digressing.
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Oct 27, 2009


While visiting Saint Michaels, I roamed through an annual rummage sale put on by a Main Street church, and pounced on a cardboard box that held ancient looking art supplies. Cans of turpentine, linseed oil, copal medium, large never used tubes of paint, and 2 very heavy little cans of Dutch Boy white lead, again, never opened. Since lead paint was taken off the market in the mid- seventies, except for housepainters etc, I knew this stuff was pretty old. But still good!A code number in a Grumbacher flyer tucked in with a tube of paint put it at 1961 or so.
A loot list, some with original prices: 2 pounds of Dutch Boy lead
Large Titanium white ($1.60)
Large MG Underpainting White ($1.50)
16 oz can of Copal Medium ($.65)
Glass jar with approx 10 oz dammar varnish
2 32 oz. cans of turps
1 16 oz can of linseed oil, plus 2 8 oz cans
Except for the lead, everything was Grumbacher, and their enclosed flyer was a treasure as well.
You don't want to know the brush prices, trust me.
The box full of stuff was $2, should I have haggled? Nah.
I coudn't resist getting my Jerrys catalog out and comparing to today's prices; without the cans of lead, the total came to about $140. Of course I have enough linseed oil to last well into the next century. I intend to use the lead to make my own grounds for oils. I promise not to eat it.
For our own good, the lead based artists paint has been off the market for a long time, except for flake and cremnitz whites.
Unfortunately, lead based paint is why many wooden buildings, as well as paintings, have lasted as long as they have. A must for tin roofs, for sure. But it has done a lot of harm. A nursery man on Long Island once told me that they thought nothing of seeing dead cows, from the lead arsenate used on the farms. Altogether a long list of lead-related tragedies.
I found this 1923 children's coloring book on an interesting blog named http://www.weaselmouseonmarketing.blogspot.com/
He also blogs about classic advertising that includes unreal but true past cigarette ads, and a fun section of monsters running off with big bosomed women.YAY
PS I thought to sell the cans of lead on ebay, but reconsidered on the grounds (pun there) that it was probably illegal. Could the church Rummage Sale Committee have been busted?

1 comment:

  1. Fascinating. The old paint holds up well if sealed, as you've noticed... I still have some viable partial Winsor Newton tubes (made of lead) that date back to the early 50's. Congrats on your bargain find.