A Brief History of Artist & Craftsman Supply

Baltimore, MD, established 2008

By Larry Adlerstein, Founder & President of A&C




Even though my father was an architect and my brother is presently an architect, I didn’t follow family inclinations and instead I went to law school. But maybe that architectural interest did also affect me. Especially in Baltimore.


Baltimore is an old historic city and the Maryland Institute College of Art is in what was then one of the more run down parts of the inner city. We, as an art supplier, wanted a location as close to that big art educator as possible.


There was an old warehouse near MICA but being an 80-100 year old warehouse the exterior walls were mostly broken glass windows set in rusted iron casing—the kind you open and close with hand cranks. I could see Artist & Craftsman going broke cooling the old monster in those muggy Maryland summer days.


So the architect gene sprang into action.


First I replaced broken glass with new clear rigid plastic. Then inside the glass/plastic exterior I put 1½” plastic Blue Board rigid insulation.


Then to isolate the plastic insulation from the interior occupied space, as required by building code, I put up 5/8 fire code sheet rock and we held it all together with 2x4s bolted to the brick of the old building.


I called Rob, my Philly manager, to come to Baltimore to paint and we had at it. An energy efficient art supply in a relic of an old building.