[obituary] Dan Robbins, Artist who created first paint-by-numbers pictures dies at 93 – The Washington Post

TOLEDO, Ohio — Dan Robbins, an artist who created the first paint-by-numbers pictures and helped turn the kits into an American sensation during the 1950s, has died. He was 93.

Source: Artist who created first paint-by-numbers pictures dies – The Washington Post

There are two things I love about Dan Robbins’ story…

His work was initially dismissed by most critics and then
celebrated by the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History (The Washington Post). In other words, he was ahead of his time and ignored the critics.

While most are content to idle at comfortable RPMs in their work, Dan Robbins found a way to elevate his Daly work and inspire something unique that has helped create slices of Americana that are still collected and are found framed in homes across the nation. Palmer still sells at least two kits: one remembering the Sept. 11 attacks and the other depicting the Last Supper (The Washington Post).

One more interesting note

Sales quickly took off and peaked at 20 million in 1955. Not bad.

So, I have a question for you, and I’ve asked myself the same one after reading Don Robbins’ story.

Which 20 million dollar idea are you working on right now? An idea that, like this one, is likely something old school and proven, yet somehow forgotten.

-John

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