L to R: George Swinton, Tim Ray, and Richard Williams
with a 50 year-old easel (a bit grubby, but still in use).
In the early 50’s Professors Richard
Williams and George Swinton, of the University of Manitoba School
of Art, recognized a real need for an easel that was sturdy,
durable and inexpensive. The easels and tables also needed to
be easily stacked and stored.
In the development stage, more innovative
ideas came up; a wide tripod base, vertical and slanted capability,
a quick and efficient
clamping system to accommodate standard stretcher bars.
Then came the demand from many other colleges
and universities, and that's where Tim Ray entered the picture.
With his help,
the easels are now being manufactured in Barnesville, Minnesota
and being sold nationwide.
Some improvements such as new finishing
techniques and casting parts have been incorporated, but the
product is virtually
the same now as when it was introduced almost a half century
Founder and Company President Timothy Ray
(BFA, University of Manitoba; MFA, University of Arkansas)
utilizes his 26 years of experience teaching painting and drawing , in our quest for the perfect easel.
After 15 years of development and refinement, we like to think we've discovered it.
So, the Barnesville Easel Company continues
the founding design philosophy of
make it strong, simple and functional!