It's estimated that Bob Ross painted thousands of paintings on his TV show "The Joy of Painting". But where did they all go?
The New York Times went to find out. They discovered that the thousands of paintings Ross produced are housed at Bob Ross, Inc. in Herndon, Virginia. Joan Kowalski serves the president of the business and says they have no plans to sell any of them. We learn, in the Times' 10-minute must-watch video, that it was her mother, Annette, who accidentally discovered Ross while taking the unknown paint instructor's class in Clearwater, Florida. She says she was so "mesmerized" by Bob that she "couldn't paint."
While the paintings are not for sale, the company has donated pieces of Bob's legacy to the Smithsonian Museum of American History's permanent collection, according to The New York Times:
Bob Ross made three versions of each painting that appeared on "The Joy of Painting." The first was made before the show, to be used as a reference. He painted the second during the 26-minute taping, sometimes with last-minute improvisations. The third was made afterward, for instructional books.
The donation to the Smithsonian includes the book version of "Blue Ridge Falls," from Season 30 (1994)… As well as all three versions of the painting "On a Clear Day," from Season 14 (1988)… Other items include a converted stepladder that was used as an easel used during the first season of the show, and two handwritten notebooks that were used to plan the production of Seasons 2 and 3…
These items will be part of a future exhibition celebrating the late painter's life.