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Old 02-05-10, 04:05 AM
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Salamander Salamander is offline
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Default polymer tempera

Has any one have any familiarity with this? Or know what it is? Thomas Hart Benton used it in his painting "The Twist", 1964

Thanks, Eric
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Old 03-05-10, 12:55 PM
dbclemons dbclemons is offline
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"Polymer" could mean any number of things, but I would guess it to be just acrylic paint.
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Old 03-05-10, 01:23 PM
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yeah, I was afraid of that
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Old 03-05-10, 04:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbclemons View Post
"Polymer" could mean any number of things, but I would guess it to be just acrylic paint.
I have to agree (simply based on guessing), because "Tempera" can mean any number of things as well. Especially in 1964, it could just refer to any kind of latex or acrylic paint.

Have you considered asking Debra Force Fine Art, since they seem to be the current owners of it?
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Old 03-05-10, 05:44 PM
VK VK is offline
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Here are the interesting references on the web (you probably alread found them):

1. A. Duca wrote a book titled Polymer Tempera. Link. According to Amazon, he was the inventor of acrylics ;-P

2. And this Time article gives a definition. Link

The answer was polymer tempera, a plastic mixture developed by one of Zerbe's former students at the Boston Museum's art school. Polymer tempera is made by mixing polyvinyl acetate, a bland white plastic (which is also used as a binder for paper diapers), with softener and ammonia. The result is a fast-drying medium as easy to handle as gouache but with as much body as oil.


Sounds like they used to call Acrylics as Polymer Tempera in the beginnings of the medium (I recall seeing the term in old books on acrylics in my local library) before they realised the potential for acrylics to be used differently...

Last edited by VK; 03-05-10 at 05:49 PM. Reason: Fixing URL links
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Old 03-05-10, 07:09 PM
Alessandra Kelley Alessandra Kelley is offline
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If I recall aright, there were two kinds of acrylics: the water-based ones we're accustomed to, and some solvent-based ones which were more durable but nastier to deal with.

Good detective work, VK. I suppose any new medium is going to be thought of in terms of older ones until people get used to its possibilities.
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Old 04-05-10, 12:51 AM
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Thanks Jeff and To you VK for your digging around thanks alot.
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Old 04-05-10, 12:14 PM
dbclemons dbclemons is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alessandra Kelley View Post
If I recall aright, there were two kinds of acrylics: the water-based ones we're accustomed to, and some solvent-based ones which were more durable but nastier to deal with...
The first acrylic resin paints, Magna made by Bocour, were only soluble with solvents. Liquitex (Permanent Pigments) developed the first water based acrylic paint several years later. Golden, who has their roots with Bocour, also still makes a spirit based acrylic paint called MSA Conservation Paints. They can be re-wetted with solvents sort of like gouaches do with water.
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