Blick Buys Utrecht

This announcement just appeared on the Blick site:

We are getting a lot of great feedback from all of our customers that heard of our new business relationship with Utrecht. For us and for our customers, this is very exciting news. However, actual changes made to our businesses will take some time and a lot of hard work by our staff. To answer some of your questions:
Utrecht Brand Products: Utrecht paints have been manufactured in the same Brooklyn facility for over sixty years. Their paints and gessoes are among the premier professional grade media offered in world. This tradition will continue, and as soon as practicable, Utrecht paints will be available in BLICK stores.
Blick Selection: BLICK’S overall and broader array of products, when practicable, will also begin appearing in Utrecht stores, many of which will eventually carry BLICK signage, as their breadth of product expands to BLICK’S standards.
Please be patient with us and our staff, as we bring the best of both companies together to provide with the best possible tools for your inspirations. Should you have further questions, please feel free to forward them to:

Bob Buchsbaum, Chief Executive Officer
[email protected], or,
Ph: 847-681-6843


  • Thanks for the info, Do you think this will benefit us?
  • Well for right now it's put a nice sale on at Blick's.
  • Mark_CarderMark_Carder admin
    edited April 2013
    I suspect this is bad, I hope I am wrong. I remember when Grumbacher was bought by I can't remember who, they immediately started cost cutting and their paint quality went down hill.
  • edited April 2013
    My limited experience with Blick is that they have the most user-friendly website I've ever used, they have a great selection of products, their orders are handled correctly and promptly, their customer service is impeccable, and they regularly offer great discounts. On the other hand, I'm not a big fan of corporate mergers for obvious reasons.

    Mark, I hear what you are saying about manufacturers' mergers or buyouts leading to cost cutting and reduced quality. I don't know if Utrecht is also a manufacturer, but these guys are both primarily distributors aren't they? There may be less to fear if so.
  • Utrecht started as a manufacturer and opened a little art supply shop to introduce and market their paint products in NYC. At about the same time they made a deal with Claussens in Belgium to buy linen and canvas from them and marketed under the Utrecht Claussens label. Utrecht has maintained high quality in all their products and when they branched out selling other brands, they only chose the best quality artist grade. Over the years they have added student grade materials, but these are clearly marked and marketed as such. In some cases even a warning that it is NOT a professional grade. Utrecht kept their prices low being a manufacturer with no middle men involved and taking a cut thus upping the price of products. Their other way is buying in bulk as they expanded through mail order and more branch stores across the country.

    This is not the case with Dick Blick. Blick buys in bulk and their Blick labeled paints were made for them by small paint makers and using a lot of fillers to keep costs down. I do not know if this is still the case. They may have bought out some of these smaller companies at some point for all I know. Blick is not a well respected dealer among professionals. They do have name brands of quality, but when ordering from Blick you really need to know what you are ordering. Blick is a mass marketer. If we were talking car parts, they are the equivalent of JC Whitney. Blick has a good sale now and then, but look through their catalogs and the quality products are vastly out numbered by questionable or down right junk products in my humble opinion.

    I find this a very depressing development. Not to mention I have a well stocked Utrecht store here in the Valley that delivers free locally and very knowledgeable manager and employees. I maybe doing mail order again with Daniel Smith who also has top quality paints and materials and slightly cheaper than even Utrecht. I'll just have to allow for shipping time again. :(
  • Az,I have not considered them in my price range but what do you think of Williamsburg handmade oil colors?
  • Excellent quality paints, but few can really afford them if they use a lot of paint. I have tried a few and loved them. A few years ago their representative came around to some of the museum shows and gave away small packs with five or six colors in 10 ml. tubes to the artists in the shows. They were great with everyone who tried them, but again, look at the cost and a top notch paint by Holbein, Winsor Newton, Utrecht or other leading professional brands, it just does not make economical sense to me. Paint ability, color viscosity and permanence really aren't that noticible when comparing and I can promise you when a collector sees a finished painting that he likes, I have yet to hear one ask about the brand of paint used. :) That's my two cents, anyway. :D I can't afford them either. Oh by the way. I still preferred Utrehts Cad. Lemon over Williamsburg by a wide margin and at about a third of the price and equal quality.
  • I shop locally when I can, but our local art supply businesses carry neither W&N, nor venetian turpentine. When visiting Portland (2 hours north), I generally stock up at Utrechts. I tried ordering online from them, but had a heck of a time with their online format. I finally gave up and ordered from Dick Blick. It was easy and fast. Their service was great so I'm sorry to hear Dick Blick products quality is poor. Unfortunately, quality rarely increases with most mergers and buy-outs. Short-term profit usually trumps long-term success. In the end, everyone loses.
  • With the Utrecht store here in Columbus, Ohio they said that that they were still using their warehouse but Blick things will be added gradual. What both store in Columbus.
  • I suspect this is bad, I hope I am wrong. I remember when Grumbacher was bought by I can't remember who, they immediately started cost cutting and their paint quality went down hill.

    I have to agree with Mark. When companies become behemoths, the general public and employees never benefit. That is why we have (or should I say "had") anti-trust legislation. It preserves the real free market. Look at the big Banks or Insurance firms which are now, "too big to fail or jail". Loosening up anti-trust was the worst thing Congress ever did.

    Hospitals are merging or being bought out etc., and doctors, nurses and patients lose for the sake of a few administrators. I was a health care provider and now a receiver (serious illness) and disgusted with the Wall Street mentality that has invaded this crucial institution.

    Time to vent my anger into art and get off my soap box....

  • RIP UTRECHT: Love you... I just found out that Dick Blicks bought up Utrecht...Uggg, lame. I went to order online, since I'm temporarily in a small town with no store, and the prices were a bit higher than usual and some of the paint names are slightly different. I couldn't find the proper Violet for oil and had to call and ask. I've been buying paint from Utrecht for 22 years.

    I've bought some products from Dick Blicks in the past but their products are subpar and customer service isn't the best, if not just horrible. I've been so disappointed with Dicks over the years, that I don't like to buy painting supply's from them at all....ARGGG, so to have the customer service agent have to explain to me that Dicks took over is depressing!

    They say the paint will not change, but I can see slight differences already. Dicks is a corporate hound, they buy cheap crap and sell it as professional. I LOVED UTRECHT :( I've shopped in Portland, Seattle, and San Francisco stores and always had great service. Especially in the Portland store, they would give me great deals in the discount section. When I talked to the customer service agent I could tell she didn't know a damn thing about the paint products...We'll see if I get the right violet!
  • I order stretched canvas from them alonw with wn paint. I look for any damage or irregularities and they always replace it with no cost or hassle. It might take a few shipments but eventually it all works out.
  • It stinks about Pearl. They had everything. :(
  • The www is both a cure and a curse for most businesses. It has literally made the print business all but extinct. It has concentrated wealth to a few and put mom and pop on the street. I often wonder if the www has created nearly as many jobs/products as it has destroyed.
  • Junebug

    Does Technology Create Jobs? Interesting question.

    Krugman, a noted liberal, says maybe in the long run, but for now ordinary workers see their wages falling. Henderson, a conservative, says that the problem is not the elimination of jobs through technology but a workforce with inadequate skills. Technlogy Create Jobs/Does Technology Create Jobs.pdf

  • I agree with Harrell about the Blick's poor quality products. I had to wait for months to replace some of my watercolors. I tried jerry's artarama website. Great supplies. My orders hipped fast an no issues. lets see if that keeps up.
  • The user and all related content has been deleted.
  • Blick is good for students and picking up something you need at the moment but the quality is just not there. They closed the Utrecht warehouse in Cranbury NJ and this has really ticked off a lot of artists in the area. At least at the warehouse you could find what you needed and frequently it had a minor ding so it was discounted. Jerry's Artarama opened a new "Palette Shop" in the quality is almost too good; don't even carry Winsor Newton. Can't win.
  • Google the Italian Art Store; it only sells online and has very good quality.
  • dencaldencal -
    edited September 2014

    Here it is:

    Buuuut the small print says:

    "We do not accept international orders. USA ORDERS ONLY!"

  • I ordered a few brushes from the Italian Art Store, took about 3 weeks to get them!
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