The papers of American art collector, paint manufacturer, lecturer, and painter, Leonard Bocour measure 11.8 linear feet and date from 1933 to 1993. Found within the papers are biographical material; miscellaneous correspondence with artists and colleagues, including Helen Frankenthaler, Chaim Gross, Philip Guston, Alex Katz, Jack Levine, Morris Louis, David Oxtoby, and Philip Pearlstein; diaries, daily calendars, notes and writings; personal business records and the business records of Bocour Artist Colors, Inc.; transcripts of interviews with Bocour; and printed material.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of American art collector, paint manufacturer, lecturer, and painter, Leonard Bocour measure 11.8 linear feet and date from 1933 to 1993. Found within the papers is biographical material, including identity cards, membership cards, and award certificates. Miscellaneous correspondence is primarily with artists and colleagues, including Helen Frankenthaler, Chaim Gross, Philip Guston, Alex Katz, Jack Levine, Morris Louis, David Oxtoby, and Philip Pearlstein and discuss exhibitions and other art-related topics. Also found are diaries and annotated daily calendars; personal business records regarding personal finances, donations, and lectures; business records for Bocour Artist Colors, Inc., including contracts, business correspondence, financial documentation, and printed material; notes and writings including address books and writings by Bocour and others; transcripts of interviews with Bocour that discuss his early career; and printed material including clippings, exhibition announcements and catalogs, booklets, and brochures.
The collection has been arranged into eight series primarily according to type of material. Materials within each series have been arranged chronologically, except for the Receipts for "Private Deals" and the Business Card File which are arranged alphabetically. Oversized material from various series has been housed in Box 13 and OV 14 and is noted in the Series Description/Container Listings Section at the appropriate folder title.
Series 1: Biographical Material, 1940s-1990s (Box 1; 4 folders)
Series 2: Miscellaneous Correspondence, 1950s-1990s (Box 1-4, 13, OV 14; 3.8 linear feet)
Series 3: Diaries and Annotated Calendars, 1955-1987 (Box 4-5; 19 folders)
Series 4: Personal Business Records, circa 1961-1992 (Box 5-7, 13; 2.2 linear feet)
Series 5: Business Records for Bocour Artist Colors, Inc., circa 1942-1992 (Box 7-9, 13; 2.3 linear feet)
Series 6: Notes and Writings, 1960-1993, undated (Box 9-10; 0.8 linear feet)
Series 7: Interview Transcripts, 1970s-1980s (Box 10; 5 folders)
Series 8: Printed Material, 1933-1993, undated (Box 10-13; 1.8 linear feet)
American art collector, paint manufacturer, lecturer, and painter, Leonard Bocour (nèe Leonard Bogdanoff) was born in 1910 in New York City. He studied at the National Academy of Design and at the Art Students League. In 1928, he met German artist Emil Ganso who taught him how to make artists' colors.
In 1932, Bocour established Bocour Hand Ground Artist Colors and sold paint directly to artists, greatly increasing his contacts and acquaintances in the art community. In this Depression era, Bocour often gave away paint to struggling artists who later became successful. Because artists would sometimes trade art work for tubes of paint, Bocour was able to build an impressive art collection that he would later loan for exhibition. He also donated numerous works of art to schools and museums.
Over the years, Bocour maintained a close relationship with artists, most notably Helen Frankenthaler, Philip Guston, Jack Levine, Morris Louis, and Philip Pearlstein. In the late 1930s, Bocour decided to increase his business by selling through retailers and wholesalers, gradually building a successful business.
From 1945 to 1955, Bocour joined the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine and for many years taught a summer technical course. In 1947, he developed Magna, an acrylic resin miscible with oil or turpentine that had the same consistency as oil paint, but dried in a fraction of the time. In 1960, Bocour introduced Aqua-Tec which is an acrylic polymer emulsion miscible with water.
From 1952 to 1970, Samuel Golden was Bocour's partner in the capacity of production manager. A merger with Zipatone, Inc. was carried out in 1982, but was dissolved in 1987. Zipatone, Inc. moved the company to Chicago, but Bocour remained in New York as president and consultant.
Beginning in the early 1960s, Bocour lectured at art schools and various arts organizations, discussing drawing, painting, and different art media as well as demonstrating his own products. He was a member of the National Art Materials Trade Association (NAMTA) and was president of the Art Material Manufacturers' Association, inducted into its Hall of Fame in 1974. Leonard Bocour died on Labor Day 1993.
Additional Leonard Bocour papers may be found at the Syracuse University Library, Special Collections Research Center.
The Leonard Bocour papers and business records were donated by his widow, Ruth Bocour, in 1994.
The collection is open for research. Use requires an appointment.
The Leonard Bocour papers and business records are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Collectors and collecting -- New York (State) -- New York Search this
Paint industry and trade -- New York (State) -- New York Search this
Tapes document Jules Olitski and Mark Golden delivering a lecture entitled "The Artist's View: Color, Technology, and Style in Postwar Art" as part of the Color Symposium held in the Museum Nov. 11-Nov. 16, 1997, in the Lemelson Center's New Perspectives series. Harry Rand served as moderator.
This lecture and discussion offers an unusal look at how the invention of new pigments, often at the urging of artists, together with new methods of application, advance the vocabulary and depth of painting.
Divided into 3 series: (1) Original tape cassettes; (2) Master tapes; (3) Reference tape cassettes.
Biographical / Historical:
Jules Olitski is a major figure in American painting and Mark Golden is a paint manufacturer and president of Golden Artist Colors, Inc.
Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation.,NMAH, SI, Dept. of History, Room 1016, MRC 604, 12th and Constitution Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20560.,Made for NMAH.,1998/02/02.,1998.3018.
Eagle-Picher Lead Co. ; Eagle White Lead Co. Search this
Very early 20th Century trade catalogs and manuals/educational booklets from a maker of sublimed white lead used in the production of paint: "What a Paintmaker and Chemist Says: A Treatise on Sublimed White Lead" ; "White Lead Test of 1893-1895: A Comparison" ; and a history entitled "Story of Picher Sublimed White Lead"
Trade catalog, manual and histories
Black and white images
3 pieces; 1 box
Type of material:
Joplin, Missouri, United States
Topic (Romaine term):
Architectural designs and building materials Search this
Artists; drafting; crafts materials and supplies Search this
"Dutch Boy" house paint ; Wonsover flat wall finish ; sash and trim colors ; porch and floor enamel ; interior gloss enamel ; quick drying enamels ; "Nalplex" flat wall finish. Red lead ; white lead ; Kirksite "A" (a zinc-base alloy for sheet metal dies) ; Satco bearing metal ; compounded cinch anchors ; "United" lead lined pipes and fittings ; Tellurium lead. Baroid oil well drilling products ; Baroid drilling mud products. "Dutch Boy Painter Magazine" issues ; booklet of "Dutch Boy" paint colors ; Dutch Boy Metal Painting Handbook ; gold inlays ; dental casting gold ; precious scrap metal refining
I. F. Laucks, Inc. ; Monsanto Chemical Works ; Merrimac Div. ; Lion Oil Co. Div. ; Merrimac Chemical Co. Div. ; Animal Sciences Division ; Monsanto Plastics Search this
One record in Spanish . "Monsanto Magazine" company publication ; World War II wartime publication ; synthetic food additives ; synthetic flavoring compounds ; methyl salicylate [synthetic oil of wintergreen] ; plasticizers ; resins ; plastics ; insecticides ; pesticides ; saccharin ; phosphorus ; "Santocel" chemical insulation ; "How Monsanto Serves: The Story of the Monsanto Chemical Company" company history , including lists of common objects of the 1930s manufactured using Monsanto products ; "Lion" roof coatings ; "Laucks" glues ; "Laucks" wood preservatives ; water treatment chemicals ; chemicals for textile manufacturing ; shell molding process for foundries ; "Plastics' Contribution to National Defense" ; phosphorus-iron alloys ; chemicals for leather tanning ; "The Texas City Disaster" 1947 accident ; ammonium nitrate explosion ; soil conditioners ; "Krilium" soil conditioner ; "M-Pak" blasting agents ; "Pydraul" fire resistant hydraulic fluid ; environmental stewardship ; other chemical products ; "Parathion" chemical ; "Posilac" bovine somatotropin ; "Biotechnology: solutions for tomorrow's world" ;
Qonaar Corp. ; Duncan Parking Meter Corp. (Chicago, IL) ; Brown & Gravenson, Inc. Search this
parking meters ; "Quik-Rok" cement for anchoring parking meters ; zone collection system ; "Duncan Duplex" parking meter ; "Duncan V.I.P." parking meter ; "Fine-O-Meter" collection system ; "Duncan MRP" parking meter ; "EPM" electronic parking meter ; "Duncan-Miller Duplex" parking meter
Trade catalog and price lists
Black and white images
44 pieces; 1 box
Type of material:
Elk Grove Village, Illinois, United States
Topic (Romaine term):
Automobiles and automotive equipment (including trucks and buses) Search this