During the 1930s, Sam Golden joined his uncle Leonard Bocour, forming a partnership in the paint company Bocour Artist Colors. They produced hand-ground oil colors for artists and they called their oil paint tubes and jars Bellini. Their store in Manhattan became a hangout for artists through the early 1950s. Artists such as Barnett Newman, Mark Rothko, Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollock, Helen Frankenthaler, Knox Martin and Jack Levine would get paint there and visit with Golden and Bocour (also a painter).
Between 1946 and 1949, and after a process of experimentation, the first artist acrylic paint was ready for sale (it was mineral spirit- and turpentine-soluble), called Magna. One of the first artists to use Magna paint was Morris Louis. Eventually, Bocour Artist Colors developed a water-soluble version of acrylic paint called Aquatec.
In June 1980, ten years after Sam Golden retired from the Bocour Artist Colors company, he founded Golden Artist Colors, Inc. with his wife Adele, son Mark, daughter-in-law Barbara Golden and partner Chuck Kelly. They began making paint in a 900-square-foot (84 m2), renovated barn in upstate New York.
The company received many awards including the 1991 Business Arts Award by the Chenango County Chamber of Commerce and the Council of the Arts. Mark Golden received the 1996 Small Business Person of the Year from the US Small Business Administration, Golden Artist Colors was featured on the NBC Nightly News as a successful small business. In 1998, Mark Golden was selected by Fortune Magazine to appear in its video series on small business.
When Sam Golden died at age 82 in 1997, he left behind a long legacy of participation in the creative process of artists and their materials. The Golden company added 31,000 square feet (2,900 m2) to its manufacturing facility in 1997 and took down the "old barn", replacing it with state-of-the-art technical laboratories and paint manufacturing equipment. The company laboratories are actively developing new innovations to make their acrylic paint increasingly durable and sophisticated. In the 21st century, they developed new colors, new mediums, new slow-drying paints and high chroma fluid products.