Friday, July 31, 2009

Inspiration Station: The most exhibited artist in the world.

As I was scrounging through some old art magazines, I stumbled upon an artist I'd like to share a little about with you. Dan Robbins. Many may not know who he is, but when you take a looksie at his work the lightbulb will flick on.

Inspired by a story about Leonardo da Vinci assigning numbered portions of paintings to his assistants to complete, Robbins believed such a paint system could appeal to adults. The timing was certainly perfect. Following World War II, Americans experienced an age of prosperity and an abundance of leisure time. Millions moved to the suburbs, and signs of conformity were everywhere--from the mass-produced homes in housing developments to the shiny red Fords parked on the curbs. He created the original paint-by-numbers process, known as the Craft Master System more than 50 years ago. During his hay day, his idea became a national craze, selling more than 12 million kids a year during the 50's making his the most exhibited artist in the world.

Today these painting, once banished to the attic, are all the rage. Many are treasured collectibles. By the way...a major exhibition was staged at the Smithsonian a few years ago.


  1. I saw that exhibition at the Smithsonian! Very interesting. Here's the link to the online exhibition, if you want to add it to the entry:

  2. I would have loved to have seen it. He used to have a website, but it appears to be gone. I just read your link to the Smithsonian. It is really neat and interesting. Thanks!