In 1905, Benjamin Steinberg opened up a store on Third Avenue between 10th and 11th Streets. Little did he know then that one day artists like Willem de Kooning would walk through its doors.
For the last 110 years, New York Central Art Supply has served the needs of New York’s amateur and professional artists. Three generations of the Steinberg family have supplied paper, paints, brushes, and canvases to everyone from first-year art students to Keith Haring. And over the last year, Doug Steinberg, Benjamin’s great-grandson, has taken a more active role at New York Central, planning for the store’s future. While Doug never formally joined the family business (he currently owns and runs his own company), New York Central has been a constant in his life. He says he’s worked there “on and off since I was born,” and has a deep appreciation for what his great-grandfather started and his father Steve grew in the ’60s and ’70s.
We recently spoke with Doug to learn about New York Central’s rich history, why so many well-known artists purchased and continue to purchase supplies here, and how the store is preparing for its 21st century evolution.