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The (Fine) Art History of Paint by Numbers

Who knew that your favorite elementary school pastime had such noble origins? In the 16th century, the great Renaissance artist Michelangelo was so busy that he began assigning sections of his famous ceilings to his students to paint. He used a numbering system to help them avoid mistakes. Fast-forward to 1949: Dan Robbins, an artist at the Palmer Painting Company in Michigan, has the ingenious idea to apply Michelangelo's orderly process on a much smaller scale. Thus, paint by number kits were born.

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