History

THE KLOPFENSTEIN STORY

In the mid 1950’s the brothers, James and William Klopfenstein, were students at Ohio State University who shared a creative bent, a natural engineering talent; and a father who just happened to own a machine and metal fabricating shop. This unique combination of interests, talent, and technology needed but a spark to flash into life as a small art equipment manufacturing company. That spark was to come from one of the brothers’ art professors who one day remarked that, ”If someone could develop a ruggedly constructed steel easel, built to last, and be simple yet versatile – then they would have the makings of a successful business.”

The brothers took this comment to heart and, working from their father’s shop, they began building prototypes of a revolutionary steel art easel. Each prototype was “classroom” tested and evaluated by art students and professors at Ohio State. After much testing, modification and improvement, the brothers felt satisfied with their design and began the business of manufacturing and selling the most innovative and ultra-functional artist’s easel ever conceived and rendered in rigid steel tubing.

By December of 1999 the brothers were ready for retirement, and the business was purchased by Jeff Penny, who having recently sold his plastics fabricating business was also ready – for a new business challenge. Early in 2000, Stan Butler joined the business as production manager and Jeff’s business partner. Today Jeff and Stan continue, in the best traditions of the Klopfenstein brothers, to produce innovative, “built to last” art equipment products designed and manufactured especially for art professionals and art students. Our product offerings have grown from that original easel to our current array of easels, drawing tables, drawing benches, taborets, and various attachable accessories developed to provide extended functionality to our easels and art benches.

Using heavy gage steel tubing our dedicated production crew form, machine, weld, paint, and assemble each product right here in Lexington, Ohio. By producing our equipment entirely “in house” we ensure our ability to control quality, and build “over-achieving” products that consistently surpass our customers’ expectations of performance and durability.

For over half a century Klopfenstein Art Equipment has proudly proven its reputation of quality and durability in hundreds of art schools and with thousands of art professionals and students. Our unflagging customer commitment to continue innovating and improving our products so that we may provide artists with the best possible art equipment, at prices consistent with superior value, remains the bedrock of our business philosophy.

We hope you will feel free to call or email us with your comments or questions.