Paint-by-Number kits have an interesting history. It was developed by artist/designer Dan Robbins with the support of Max S. Klein, owner of the Palmer Paint Co., in 1951. Inspired by the reports of DaVinci numbering parts of his paintings so that his assistants could complete them, they thought that this might be something that would appeal to adults. Post WWII, people were moving to the suburbs, had more money and leisure time. It was also a time of conformity. The idea of of conformity in art was something that apparently was welcomed by the general public, as sales soared as Craft Master and Masterpiece began to sell the kits. By the time the craze was dying out around 1957, about 24 million kits had been sold. What was once laughed at and reviled by the art community, has become today a legitimate, albeit kitschy, form of art. There is even a Paint-by-Numbers museum and exhibits have taken place at museums around the country. Lots of home decorators have been bitten by the collection bug, looking for a quirky retro decorating fad to revive. It's fun and colorful. Some people collect the whole range of subjects, while others concentrate on one. Betsey Speert loves to collect tropical birds. She has ceramics, plates, and paint-by-numbers all with the tropical bird theme! Prices for this art has a very wide range. I found this painting on Etsy for a whopping $80!
While this one was listed don Ebay for only 12.99!
Here are some pics of rooms decorated with paint-by-numbers:
Go to The Lettered Cottage to see how this mural was created.
So what do you think, would you use vintage paint-by-numbers in your home decor? How about trying your hand at painting a mural? I am considering both...hmmmm...just another thing to add to my idea file!