HISTORY OF THE COMPANY
It's been said that the Donald Art Company was the most successful of all the art publishing companies in the 1900's. They sold millions of prints to retail and wholesale outlets, in the USA as well as internationally. Their litho prints are easy to recognize because they were signed with the full company name (Donald Art Co.) or an abbreviation: D.A.C., NY.
I've seen DAC litho prints that go back as far as the 1950's so that's possibly an indication of when the company began. In fact, much of the company's history can be traced by searching their prints for clues.
Some of the DAC lithos printed in the 1950's say, "Donald Art Co., Inc. Port Chester, N.Y." They were actually located in Rye Brook which was on the outskirts of Port Chester. (Or, they may have purchased the property in Rye Brook later on.)
Donald Bonnist was the owner and founder of the Donald Art Company. He apparently retired in 1984. An article in the New York Times states, "The Donald Art Building at 90 South Ridge Street in Rye Brook, N.Y., sold for $4.5 million in 1984. The 70,000- square-foot structure on 3.38 acres served as an office, factory and warehouse for the Donald Art Company. It was converted into prime office space with parking for 200 cars." (source NY Times: CLICK HERE )
The building was sold in 1984 and it seems that the company may have been sold as well. I've seen art prints from 1987 that say the company was located in Connecticut: "1987 Donald Art Co, Inc CT NO. 50803."
The Library of Congress lists 1110 prints that were copyrighted by the Donald Art Company from 1978 to 1992, so DAC continued publishing even after the building in New York was sold. It seems that the new owners of the Donald Art Company may have ceased publishing in 1992 (or stopped registering their copyrights.)
The Donald Art Company apparently moved from Connecticut to Florida in 1994. The Florida Annual Business Report lists the Donald Art Company:
DONALD ART CO
This information is current as of November 12, 2011.
Company Name: DONALD ART COMPANY, INC.
Status: Inactive as of 1999
Filing Date: 07/28/1994
Entity Type: Foreign Profit Corporation
File Number: F94000003951
Qualifying State: Connecticut
Company Age: 18 Years, 10 Months
Much of the leftover inventory of art prints (dated 1960's to 1990's) was purchased from the DAC owners by Bonnie Lee Lamont - who is also located in Florida. Bonnie writes of the Donald Art Company, "One of their published artists went to art school with Gramma Moses, another exhibited at the Whitney, the list goes on and on, they made excellent choices of artists as time has shown... and as a publisher myself, the paper quality and colors from being published that many years ago are outstanding, to say the least. In my opinion, this company, The Donald Art Company, who published in the USA and Internationally, never got the recognition they should have, when they were around." (source Wiki.Answers.com: CLICK HERE )
DONALD & SERINE BONNIST
Donald Bonnist was the owner and founder of the Donald Art Company from the beginning of the company (1950's ?) until he apparently retired in 1984. Donald Bonnist was born November 29, 1907 and died April 1986 at the age of 79. His last known residence was Sanibel, Florida. (source ancientfaces.com: CLICK HERE )
Serine Van Embden Bonnist (1915-2008) was an accomplished artist and she was the wife of Donald Bonnist. Serine's art was used on the covers of the Donald Art Company catalogs. Serine and Donald Bonnist immigrated to the United States in 1939. (For the full obituary visit Legacy.com: CLICK HERE )