They say if you have three of something... it is a collection. One rolling pin has a pracitcal use, 10 rolling pins can be made into a design feature in your home. Two paint by number finds make for a sweet vinette but 20 make for a serious collection and need some serious wall space. Here is to new finds and learning something new about a revived art.
Paint by number (or painting by numbers) describes kits having a board on which light blue lines indicate areas to paint, each area having a number and a corresponding numbered paint to use. The kits were developed and marketed in 1950 by Max S. Klein, an engineer and owner of the Palmer Paint Company of Detroit, Michigan and Dan Robbins, a commercial artist.
In 1951 Palmer Paint introduced the Craft Master brand which sold over 12 million kits. This public response induced other companies to produce their own versions of paint by number. The Craft Master paint-kit box tops proclaimed, "A BEAUTIFUL OIL PAINTING THE FIRST TIME YOU TRY." Following the death of Max Klein in 1993, his daughter, Jacquelyn Schiffman, donated the Palmer Paint Co. archives to the Smithsonian Museum of American History.
In 1992, Michael O'Donoghue and Trey Speegle organized and mounted a show of O'Donoghue's paint by number collection In New York City at the Bridgewater/ Lustberg Gallery. After O'Donoghue's passing in 1994 the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History exhibited many key pieces from O'Donoghue's collection, now owned by Speegle, along with other collectors works in 2001. Since then, the vintage kits and paintings have experienced a resurgence through yard sales and eBay auctions.
In 2008 a private collector in Massachusetts assembled over 6,000 paint by number works dating back to the 1950s from eBay and other American collectors to create the Paint By Number Museum, the world's largest online archive of paint by number works.