Ultra-Premium German Art Materials

Schmincke was established in 1881, the year Josef Horadam and Hermann Schmincke began searching for old master resin oil color recipes and found them through Professor Cesare Mussini at the Academy in Florence. Cesare Mussini had preserved old family recipes of finest natural resin oil colors, this formula became the foundation of the Mussini line of oil color. Eleven years after founding the Schmincke factory in 1881, Josef Horadam began to perfect what is known today as the Horadam line of watercolors.  With the same zeal as their motto professed, he strived for the best in pigments creating an unsurpassed method of producing watercolor.  Four generations would follow in Horadam and Schmincke's footsteps in their goal of providing the very best in artists' color.


Around the turn of the century under the second generation of leadership, Dr. Julius Hesse developed the world-renown line of Schmincke pastels and a vast program of gouache colors for artists, designers and photo-retouchers.  All became famous in their category.


It was during the 1920s that Max Grumbacher began to source his artists' paints in the US through Schmincke. By the end of the 1920s the demand for Schmincke paints became so great that Max Grumbacher began to manufacture this paint under the Schmincke license in America.  The Schmincke family chemists came to the US to aid in the start up of this manufacturing process using German formulas and American ingredients.  A new line of CEL paints were developed, which were the standard paints used by Disney in creating animated cartoons such as "Snow White and the Seven Dwarves" and "Fantasia."


By 1938, trouble in Germany brought hardship to Schmincke's Hesse family.  In preparation to flee Germany before the war broke out, they sold their formulas, manufacturing rights, and trademarks for use in the Western Hemisphere to Max Grumbacher.


Under the 3rd generation leadership of Consul Ernst 0. Hesse, Schmincke started post-war manufacturing.  During this time one of the first lines of acrylics were developed based formulas co-created between Grumbacher and Schmincke. Business gained strength and a new factory was built in 1974.  Global expansion-activities intensified, especially with the leading Schmincke brands MUSSINI®, NORMA® PROFESSIONAL, HORADAM® AQUARELL and soft pastels.


In December 1998 the representative of the fourth owner generation, president of Schmincke since 1971, Consul Peter Hesse, handed the task of managing Schmincke over to a carefully selected successor: Nils Knappe.  The philosophy, goals, objectives and the Schmincke-strategy remain: supporting a global market for top quality traditional artists' colors.


In 2009 Schmincke and Chartpak entered a partnership that brought Grumbacher and Schmincke art materials back together under the same roof.  Chartpak now offers Schmincke's ultra-premium German art materials beside the American-made Grumbacher professional and collegiate paints.

The Schmincke Product Line - North America

Old master resin oil color
Horadam Aquarell
Premium watercolors in tubes and pans
Professional oil color
Three lines of professional gouache
Premium and collegiate block printing inks
Aero Color
Highly pigmented acrylic inks
Highly pigmented, extra soft professional pastels
Pure traditional and bronze pigments
Mediums for pastels, oils, watercolor and inks
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