The Paint By Numbers Museum

It’s Monday! Last week was Easter and April Fools’ Day, so as you might imagine not much news — real news, anyway — was coming up at the end of the week. And I don’t have an iPad to unbox, so I’ll look back into my queue to see some things I haven’t covered yet… maybe something a little unusual since it’s a Monday. Ah! I have it… the Paint by Numbers Museum at

I wasn’t aware that Paint by Number kits had such a long and specific history. This site steps you through a lot of it. It’s laid out like a museum; when you get to the front page you have the option to go straight to a search engine, to a couple of major exhibits, or to the “Lobby.” The lobby points you toward all the exhibits, the search engine again, and the “Library” (which is a categorized link list.)

I normally go straight to the search but I recommend visiting the exhibits and galleries first — here you can get a history of paint by numbers, a biography of the man who started it all, other notable people in the world of paint by numbers, and galleries of specific artist work.

Now, to be honest, I didn’t expect much. What I remembered of paint by numbers is that they were crude and not very artistic and in short pure cheese. But these were quite good, very artistic. The exhibits have thumbnail images of completed artworks with larger image views for each one, along with a little bit more detail. (Some of the pictures themselves had crazy amounts of detail.) No wonder paint by numbers ended up as an exhibit at the Smithsonian.

If you would rather search than browse, the search engine lets you search by keyword, title, or kit series (there are additional tabs that let you search catalogs and kits.) A blank search nets you over *1200* results so there’s a lot to see here. A search for Paris found sixty results, and a search for dance found over 160. Results have thumbnails and clicking on them takes you to the information page; unfortunately not all the images are equally good (I was confused at getting a black-and-white picture in one of my search results, only to find that was the only image available.

One of the more eye-opening sites I’ve looked at in a while, put together by someone who clearly knows (and loves!) the topic!

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