Masonite

DEFINITION

A brown building board one-eighth inch thick, perfectly smooth on one side and criss-crossed with the marks of a wire screen on the other. It was invented by William Mason in 1924, first went into production in 1926 by the Masonite Corporation of Chicago, and by 1929 was being widely used. It is sometimes marked Genuine Masonite Presdwood. Masonite is made without binder and by exploding wood fiber under a steam pressure of 1000 pounds per square inch. The refined pulp is pressed with heat, and the interlocking fibers form a permanent hard mass. During the process the fibers are impregnated with a small amount of sizing compound made of parafin, which provides a water-proof quality. Artists like to paint on masonite because of its durability, and moisture resistance. Source: Ralph Meyer, "The Artists Handbook"; Masonite International Corporation as submitted by M.D. Silverbrooke, Art Historian and Collector (LPD)<br><br>A trademark used for a type of fiberboard employed as a surface for painting, but manufactured principally as wallboard for use in insulation, paneling, etc. It is dark brown, with one side that is very smooth, and the other bearing the texture of an impressed wire screen. Gesso is commonly applied to Masonite as a ground. Masonite can be quite permanent. It often occurs in print in lowercase, to the dismay of the owner of the rights to this trademark.Example of work on Masonite: Albert Bloch (American, 1882-1961), March of the Clowns, 1941, oil on canvas mounted on Masonite, sight: 35 9/16 x 39 7/16 inches (90.3 x 100.2 cm), framed: 41 x 45 inches (104.1 x 114.3 cm), The Jewish Museum, NY. Bloch was a member of the artists&#39; group called Der Blaue Reiter. See Jewish art.Also see board and panel.

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