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Exploring the Archival Nature of Acrylic Paint: Insights from Mark Golden

Artist is brushing paint onto a canvas.

In a revealing interview conducted by Brad Teare in April 2016, Mark Golden, the president and co-founder of Golden Artist Colors - offered illuminating perspectives on the archival nature of acrylic paint. For a long time, Golden has maintained its esteemed reputation as a producer of top-tier acrylic paint. This enduring trust in their quality has led to widespread adoption among numerous artists.

Longevity and Robustness of Acrylics

One of the key takeaways from the discussion was the robustness of high-quality artist acrylics. Mark Golden emphasized that top-tier acrylic paints, even after several hundred to a thousand years, are not expected to deteriorate significantly. Drawing from his extensive experience and research, he highlighted the resilience of artist-grade acrylics, debunking misconceptions regarding the longevity of such paintings.

Misconceptions around Acrylic Failures

Mark Golden addressed misconceptions surrounding the alleged failures of acrylic paintings by renowned artists like Warhol, Hockney, and Rothko. He clarified that conservation efforts often misinterpreted as signs of paint degradation were, in fact, misrepresentations. Many of these pieces were actually in remarkable condition, challenging the notion that acrylics inherently suffer from durability issues.

Challenges and Considerations with Acrylics

While lauding the flexibility of acrylics, Mark Golden also acknowledged specific situations where cracking might occur, notably in extreme low temperatures or due to hasty movement during the drying process. This rare occurrence was emphasized against the backdrop of acrylics' overall flexibility and durability.

Factors Contributing to Archival Concerns

During the interview, the concept of archival quality, encompassing pigment lightfastness, medium visual stability, and structural integrity, was thoroughly discussed. Mark Golden highlighted the need for a medium to preserve an artist's intended expression over time, citing studies indicating the favorable performance of acrylics compared to other traditional media.

Conclusion: Embracing Acrylics with Confidence

The insights shared by Mark Golden offered valuable guidance for collectors navigating the world of acrylics and archival concerns. His expertise underscored the enduring qualities of high-quality artist acrylics, providing reassurance to collectors interested in this versatile medium.

This article reflects the valuable insights from an interview conducted by Brad Teare with Mark Golden, president and co-founder of Golden Artist Colors, in April 2016.

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Carolyn Wonders


Modern life with its social, political, and cultural debates leaves us all raw, triggered, and anxious. We are bombarded by rhetoric that is carefully chosen to obscure truth and advance agendas. I see art as a universal language that can transcend that which twists us into parrots of this rhetoric. Living with art you love and seeing through an artist’s eyes can help us see these superficial debates for what they are and get us in touch with what really matters.


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