For a while the grand temple for the artists in New York’s at that time very democratic Manhattan was without doubt Pearl Pain art supply store. The store had 6 floors and a crafts annex in the building across the street in the back. It was located near corner of Broadway on canal Street and it would not be an untruth to say that a large, very large percentage of all American and artists came through it’s stair. That store had it all. One could buy a box of 3 tubes of Old Holland oil paints ON SALE and not go broke. At some point, i think later on they even had a line of paint that they packed themselves. Here is a single tube that lives on in my collection.
As I never worked there, I do not have a “1st hand experience” of the idea but it was also said that for the artists it was one of these places where one could easily land a job, if in need.
We do not have Pearl Paint anymore. But to remember the ones that remember, well we have:
Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York
a.k.a. The Book of Lamentations:
a bitterly nostalgic look at a city in the process of going extinct
Here is a link to the article on pear’s departure.