Remember This? Art supplies

Dorri Partain
Contributor


When the “father of the American Christmas card” needed art supplies for his young daughter, he started a campaign to bring art instruction to all American school children.


Louis Prang (1824-1909) was born in Poland but started his career as a lithographer, innovator and publisher after his arrival in America in 1850. He not only brought over the English tradition of sending Christmas cards, but created his own line with American designs, using the chromolithograph process he developed.


His Artist’s Color Wheel, invented in 1876, has become the standard in art instruction, breaking the color palette into primary (red, blue, yellow), secondary (green, blue, violet) and tertiary (red-orange, blue-green) colors.
When Prang’s daughter Rosa wanted to learn painting, he discovered that the watercolors available in America were poor quality and not safe for children. He developed his own formulas for semi-moist, non-toxic colors, and packaged them as a set that would be easy for children to use.
In 1882, the Prang Educational Company produced a 300-page catalogue with a complete line of art supplies and teaching manuals for schools; Prang also hired an art instructor, Mary Dana Hicks, to lead his Prang Normal Art Classes. Normal was a term that referred to education many generations ago.


As Prang and Hicks were both devoted to early art education and widowed, they wed in 1889.


Prang sold his printing business in 1897 to focus solely on the promotion of art education and Hicks-Prang wrote and published The Prang Course in Art Education the following year, creating a guide that is still referred to today.
Following Prang’s death in 1909, the rights to his art products were purchased by the American Crayon Co., which manufactured the Prang paint set shown here around 1970.


The Prang trademark still appears on a full line of art supplies owned by another company well known for school supplies, Dixon Ticonderoga.

Want Northeast News articles sent straight to your inbox each week? Subscribe below!
Enter your email address and click on the Get Instant Access button.
We respect your privacy

One response to “Remember This? Art supplies”

  • Remember This? Gates Ol’ Kentuck Barbecue

    February 24th, 2021
    by

    Dorri Partain Contributor Countless barbeque restaurants dot the neighborhoods in and around Kansas City today, but during the early years […]


    Lincoln Electric Park, a delight to the city’s Negro population

    February 24th, 2021
    by

    Michael Bushnell Northeast News As part of our Black History Month, we revisit a set of images we ran in […]


    Paseo YMCA plays major role in Black History

    February 17th, 2021
    by

    Michael Bushnell Publisher This week, as part of our ongoing Black History Month series, we spotlight the Paseo YMCA located […]


    Remember This? Ragtime two-step

    February 17th, 2021
    by

    Dorri Partain Contributor More than 70 years after its composition, a Ragtime two step became a chart-topping recording. “The Entertainer” […]


    Remember This? I AM LOVED pin-back buttons

    February 10th, 2021
    by

    Dorri Partain Contributor It’s a small item with a big message that’s been translated into multiple languages and sent to […]


    Family Flower business a staple of Northeast Community

    February 10th, 2021
    by

    Michael Bushnell Publisher Rose Marie Serrone opened her flower and gift shop in a single story, Art Deco-style building in […]


    Remember This? The electric coffee percolator

    February 3rd, 2021
    by

    Dorri Partain Contributor Need coffee for a crowd? Perk up your party with a Party Percolator that brews dozens of […]


    Quindaro town-site, an important portal on the Underground Railroad

    February 3rd, 2021
    by

    Michael Bushnell Publisher During Black History Month, our Historic Postcard column will spotlight locations and people important to Black History […]


  • State of the art zoo for 1909

    January 27th, 2021
    by

    Michael Bushnell Publisher This circa 1914 hand colored postcard published by the Southwest News company of Kansas City, Missouri shows […]


    Remember This? Gremlins Cereal

    January 27th, 2021
    by

    Dorri Partain Contributor Do you have any Gremlins in your kitchen cupboard? From the shoebox to the cereal box, this […]


    Remember this? Bathroom radios

    January 20th, 2021
    by

    Dorri Partain Contributor It’s a radio – it’s a toilet paper holder – it’s both! Combining two practical items into […]


    Flying High in Kansas City

    January 20th, 2021
    by

    Michael Bushnell Publisher This week, in theme with our Remember This column on a novelty transistor radio, we’re featuring another […]


    Faultless Starch Reading Library

    January 13th, 2021
    by

    Michael Bushnell Publisher This week’s postcard is a bit of a departure from the penny postcard we normally profile in […]


    Remember this? Trading stamps

    January 13th, 2021
    by

    Dorri Partain Contributor Lick ’em, stick ’em, save ’em and trade ’em for quality merchandise – it was like getting […]


    Remember This: Desk calendars

    January 6th, 2021
    by

    Dorri Partain Contributor Though the style may change, perpetual calendars never go completely out-of-date. Often designed for desk-top display, early […]


    New year, new calendar

    January 6th, 2021
    by

    Michael Bushnell Publisher This week we continue our novelty postcard series with a couple of postcards that follow our “Remember […]


  • Northeast Newscast


  • Faces Of Northeast


  • Postcard


  • Remember This?


  • retorts illustrated by bryan stalder


  • Want articles sent directly to your inbox each week? Subscribe below!
    We respect your privacy and will not distribute your information.