Best Of 2006

Best Art Supplies: Dick Blick Art Materials

Ardent Dick Blick devotees—and there are many—don't care a whit that it's a chain with locations in fifteen states. And why doesn't it offend their creative, innovative, sensitive souls to throw their money around there? Because Dick Blick's products are as top-of-the-line as top-of-the-line gets, and the company's history couldn't be more mom-and-pop. Mr. and Mrs. Dick Blick first began distributing a small art- and writing-supply catalogue way back in 1911, and the company remains family-owned today (though it's a different family, which purchased the company in the late 1940s). All this fits in just right with the tiny brick house in downtown Clayton that serves as Dick Blick's St. Louis outpost, converted to hold aisle upon aisle of paints, pencil sets, frames, reams of canvas and even a wide selection of Crayola products. See, sometimes art and commerce do mix.

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