About Us

Who We Are

National Art Shop established business in 1970 because of a need to provide fine art materials and custom picture framing to local artists. Over the years, we have grown, but we are still locally owned and centrally located in mid-town Springfield, Missouri.
Our Sales Staff, with a combined experience of over 100 years, will give you friendly, personalized service in selecting products best suited for your needs. We encourage our staff to research and experiment with the products so when you shop at National Art Shop our staff can give you answers to your questions about our products and their uses. At National Art Shop, customers are not treated as numbers, but rather as individuals with unique projects, they wish to complete.
National Art Shop believes in giving back to the community we serve.

  • We help promote local shows, competitions, art classes, art fairs and anything else related to art at the local level, including music, theater, and sports. Click here to view any upcoming events in the local area.
  • We work with teachers, instructors, and professors in Springfield and the surrounding areas to ensure we have the art materials on hand they will need for their classes. We also put together kits for classes at a discounted rate to help offset the cost of education to students and their parents.
  • We often hear of opportunities which are available. Now potential clients, members, and or students can link directly from our website to yours through our online resource,
    Art Connection, to get the latest information straight from the source, you!

As a member of iAMart, a non-profit corporation formed in 1999 as an association for independent art materials retailers, we are able to keep abreast of current trends and products and offer not only these but all the art materials we carry at competitive prices. We love to demonstrate our products and their uses to various groups and organizations. Just give us a call to set up a time.

We are one of the largest custom framing facilities in the Mid-West. Please see our
Custom Framing page to find out more about our framing services.

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A show not to miss!

Wonder Rooms: Ozark Collections Opening Reception

Please join us for the opening reception of "Wonder Rooms: Ozark Collections," a new special exhibition that examines the human desire to collect, with a specific focus on private collections in southwest Missouri, in order to discover the underlying stories and driving impulses behind collecting. The exhibit will present representative works from ten local collections, and will feature a wide range of media arranged in cabinets or 'rooms,' including ceramics, photography, outsider art, local art, furniture, prints, drawings, and more. This event is free and open to the public.

September 15, 2017 - September 16, 2017

We will be closed Monday, 9/4 in observance of Lab...Read more

We will be closed Monday, 9/4 in observance of Labor Day. With that in mind, here is a brief history of WPA/FAP prints. Painter/printmaker George Biddle is credited with convincing President Franklin D. Roosevelt, his old college roommate, to create a "New Deal" program for the Arts. Several programs resulted including the Public Works of Art Program (PWAP), the Treasury Section of Fine Arts (The Section), the Treasury Relief Art Project (TRAP) and the best known, broad-based WPA-FAP (Works Project Administration / Federal Art Project), which, at its peak, employed five thousand artists. The WPA-FAP was broken into various divisions within each state and included Mural Painting, Easel Painting, Graphic Arts, Sculpture and Education. The works created in these divisions were created for or utilized by public facilities such as government buildings, post offices, schools, hospitals, military bases, etc. The mandate of the WPA-FAP was employment, not the "higher" purpose of creating a great work of art. The early political climate of the PWAP demanded a distinct "American" style, free of other influences. This policy of course was reluctantly accepted and constantly challenged, leading to much controversy and many policy changes. Under the director Holger Cahill the Graphic Arts division of the FAP had much more freedom than did the other divisions. For many artists this was the first time they did not need to concern themselves with critical or financial success. Many were able to explore and experiment with the various printmaking media, despite bureaucratic limitations, particularly in the areas of color printmaking. In New York Russell Limbach consulted for lithography and Louis Schanker for color woodcut. It was in the WPA-FAP that screen-printing became accepted as a Fine Art medium. The inexpensive equipment that was required enabled many more artists to directly participate rather than needing the large presses and skill that were required to print intaglios and lithographs which only one person could use at a time. Anthony Velonis, among others, had worked as a commercial silkscreener and taught the craft to interested artists. In Philadelphia African-American printmaker Dox Thrash and co-workers developed the carborundum print and in California WPA printer Ray Bertrand developed a new transfer paper for lithography which enabled artists from around the state to send their drawings by mail to Bertrand. He would transfer them to a litho plate and prove them. Stylistically the WPA-FAP graphic artists tended to fall into two camps, Realists and Modernists with the Realists being by far the predominant group, working for the bureaucracy in the "American" style that was easily understood and expected. The Realists were further divided into two groups, the "American Scene" which was generally rural in nature and tended to glorify the American worker and the landscape with an apolitical and optimistic view. In contrast the "Social Realism" was urban and political in nature, often depicting the poverty, crime, graft and exploitation so common in the cities during the Depression. The Modernists were in the minority and also fell into camps regarding degrees of abstraction and other experimental imagery. What they had in common was an unwillingness to shrug off the influences of Europe such as Cubism, Surrealism and Expressionism. Indeed many of the artists working in the urban environs had been active artists in Europe, coming to America in the late 1920s and early 30s to escape the Depression there. The project offered opportunities to a diverse group of artists that also included immigrants from Russia, China, Japan and other countries. In the WPA-FAP they were put together with both young and experienced American artists that included women, Hispanic and African-Americans. and a dialog began that would change American printmaking forever. Though some two hundred thousand prints were produced from some eleven thousand original matrices much of this work has disappeared. Although they were supposed to have been given to American museums and libraries many of these prints were destroyed when the U.S. entered World War II and they were pulped for the war effort, sometimes tossed away by zealous curators who did not want to be reminded of the Depression. Others could not afford the space to house and the staff to catalogue them. Many were lost to general indifference. Since the prints were not meant to be sold, they were generally not found in private collections. The small editions (usually 25 or fewer) have made them scarce....