The Museum of Forgotten Art Supplies

August 3rd, 2012 | Posted in General

It is believed that the first piece of art was painted on the wall of a cave by early man.

The second piece of art was also painted on the wall of a cave, but the prehistoric man that painted it was heard to complain that “they just don’t make this paint like they used to.”

So began a long tradition of artists complaining that the art supplies they make today are no where near as good as the ones they used to make. Art supplies are discontinued, formulas changed, manufacturing methods altered, materials switched, etc. and nothing makes artists who use these supplies more upset. The very rumor of the discontinuation of a given art material will send artists into a spending spree to locate all the remaining stock and horde it. One famous story was when the Esterbrook pen company went out of business Peanuts creator Charles Schulz, who used an Esterbrook Radio pen #914 for his work,  purchased enough nibs from the company to last the rest of his life rather than use a different nib.

Which brings us to the marvelous website The Museum of Forgotten Art Supplies. Award-winning cartoonist and illustrator Lou Brooks “curates” this online museum, which welcomes the photographs of and accompanying stories about vintage art materials and equipment. It’s a lot of fun and more than a few laughs to go through the over 400 items currently in the museum, at least it is if you are an artist. I’ve got a couple of things I need to take a picture of and send in to Lou one of these days.

The Museum now has a Facebook page as well!



  1. Bill Karis says:

    This website is my comfort zone….spent 29 years in an Advertising Agency and used 99% of everything shown, and I’m not that old!


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