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Here's What's Happened to All Those Bob Ross Paintings

Time logo Time 7/12/2019 Megan McCluskey
Bob Ross standing in front of a mirror posing for the camera: MIAMI, FL - DECEMBER 01:  Bob Ross instruction setup at When The Art Comes Down Miami Beach hosted by Super 8 on December 1, 2016 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Super 8) © Robin Marchant—2016 Getty Images MIAMI, FL - DECEMBER 01: Bob Ross instruction setup at When The Art Comes Down Miami Beach hosted by Super 8 on December 1, 2016 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Super 8)

Throughout the course of his 11-year career hosting his PBS show “The Joy of Painting,” Bob Ross is estimated to have painted approximately 1,143 paintings — three of the same painting per episode. So where are all those paintings now?

A recent investigation by the New York Times revealed that the majority of Ross’ paintings are stored at the Virginia headquarters of Bob Ross Inc. under the watchful eye of Ross’ longtime business partner Annette Kowalski and her daughter Joan, the president of the company. Unfortunately for those interested in purchasing one of Ross’ famous oil landscapes, the Kowalskis apparently have no intention of selling them, as that “wasn’t really Bob’s thing.”

“It actually has never really occurred to us,” Joan told the New York Times during a video interview. “We’ve never really talked about it.”

However, they have donated some of Ross’ paintings to the Smithsonian to be part of a permanent exhibit at the National Museum of American History. Ross’ paintings will be featured alongside the work of other American icons like Julia Childs and Mr. Rogers.

Ross died on July 4, 1995 at the age of 52 from lymphoma. You can still watch his show every day on PBS.

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