Shiva was started by a Spanish American Painter by the name of Ramon Shiva during the late 1920's. Ramon's daughter married a young salesman by the name of Jimmy Rhodes who came into the company with the intention of making a real business of it. Ramon was a painter, his only interest was to make fine paint for himself and his friends. A sixteen year-old errand boy, (Jack Richeson) would make deliveries and pick-ups there and marveled at the paint making process. The building at 433 Goethe Street in Chicago housed the factory on the first floor and the family lived upstairs on the second floor.
Ramon and Jim mixed and milled paint while some of Chicago's great painters and illustrators would stand around and critique: Haddon Sunblom, Sessions, Vaughn Milbourne. They had a real hall of fame involved. During the forties and fifties, Shiva became the leading Oil Paint manufacturer in the United States, and they also lead the world in bringing back Casein.
During the late sixties, the company was sold because of illness and the drive seemed to be lost. The quest for purity and quality, once so proudly held by Ramon, was replaced by efficiency and price control brought on by the new owners' financial administrators.
Now a lifelong dream of Jack Richeson's has come true. Somewhere, we believe Ramon is watching, along with his painting buddies, as the Shiva "Legend of Quality!" returns.