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PAINT-BY-NUMBER BLONDE, SOMEWHERE, USA, 1958

Paint-by-number Blonde

Who is this perky girl’s colorist? Whoever they are, give them a raise!  But what we really want to know is what kind of toxic chemicals it took to get her curls so glossy so flossy they look like spun sugar?

We do know she poses proudly before a pleasant peanut butter-colored wall adorned by a trio of paint-by-numbers.  Though the honey blond wood framed scenes depict the Old World they are most certainly products of the New World.

Not only do we have Detroit to thank for the automobile and Motown, the legendary city is also responsible for bestowing upon the world one of our all-time favorite Americana crafts: paint-by-numbers.

Detroit’s Palmer Paint Company introduced the kits at the 1952 New York Toy Show. The new instant-art form allowed anyone and everyone to be an artist and quickly became a craze that swept the nation. By 1955 more than 12 million kits had been sold.

Paint-by-numbers are to the art world what TV dinners are to the food world.

Today, vintage paint-by-numbers are prized collectables.

If you love them the way I do, may I suggest you add the Paint-by-Number book, by William L. Bird, to your personal library. My bookshelf wouldn’t be complete with out it!

Here’s to spun sugar hair, peanut butter walls, paint-by-numbers and YOU!