Posted by Jack Mingo on 2001/04/05 20:06:34 GMT-4
Big doings at the Smithsonian Museum this month--an exhibit of Paint-By-Number art. For more information about the exhibit and the history of Paint-By-Number in general, check out: http://www.nytimes.com/2001/04/05/living/05PAIN.html?0405na/2001/04/05/living/05PAIN.html
Here's an excerpt from the article to get you started:
The paint-by-number concept was the work of two men: Dan Robbins, an artist who worked for the auto industry, and Max Klein, who manufactured paint.
"It's fitting it happened in Detroit," Mr. Bird said. "If General Motors had made art, this would have been it."
MR. ROBBINS remembered that Leonardo da Vinci had left numbered sections of paintings for assistants to fill in. In 1952, he brought the idea to Mr. Klein, the owner of the Palmer Show Card Paint Company, his new employer. Mr. Klein saw potential in marketing fail-safe artists' kits, in part because of the celebrity of Sunday painters like President Eisenhower and Winston Churchill.
Mr. Klein placed his bets on the postcard scenes and calendar art of barns in Maine, and fair-faced collies, pigtailed Indian princesses and coolies in China — the pictures that America saw and smiled at when it closed its eyes to the realities of a nuclear age, urban sprawl and a growing multiculturalism. And masterpieces: though 90 percent of the art was original, reproductions like da Vinci's "Last Supper" were best-sellers.