Dan Robbins, the man who created the first paint by numbers pictures and helped turn the kits into an American sensation during the 1950s, has died at the age of 93.
His works were dismissed by some critics but later celebrated by the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History, died Monday in Sylvania, Ohio, said his son, Larry Robbins.
He had been in good health until a series of falls in recent months, his son said.
He said his inspiration came from Leonardo da Vinci.
“I remembered hearing that Leonardo used numbered background patterns for his students and apprentices, and I decided to try something like that,” Robbins said in 2004. (He meant to convert photo to paint by number pattern).
He showed his first attempt — an abstract still life — to his boss, Max Klein, who promptly told Robbins he hated it because he claimed it was an easy art.