Almost Every Bob Ross Painting in Existence Lives in a Virginia Office Park
Somewhere off Route 50 in Herndon, Virginia, next to a LabCorp and throughout the road from a dentist’s office, there’s a warehouse that homes nearly every painting ever painted by one of the most recognizable painters in America: Bob Ross. They’re not on display, however, are stacked cautiously in numbered cardboard containers; panorama upon panorama, snow-capped peak upon snow-capped height, satisfied little tree upon the happy little tree.
Ross’s educational television show, The Joy of Painting, ran on PBS for 31 seasons, from 1983 to 1994, every containing thirteen episodes, for which Ross could make 3 versions of the equal painting—one as an initial reference, one that he painted on TV, and a remaining, extra painstaking model to be covered in his books. Over his PBS tenure, Ross crafted a few 1,143 artworks (there have been every now and then guest hosts), consistent with a current video from The New York Times. The majority of these landscapes—and they are all landscapes—are housed inside the warehouses of Bob Ross Inc., the business enterprise that sells his signature how-to books, artwork materials, and memorabilia. We’d bet there are enough mountains, lakes, and glad little timber to designate Bob Ross Inc. A country wide park.
Though Bob Ross Inc. Operates out of Virginia—run by using Ross’s longtime commercial enterprise associate Annette Kowalski—Ross himself changed into a Florida guy. He changed into born in Daytona Beach in 1942 and grew up in Orlando. When Ross became 18, he enlisted in the United States Air Force and changed into subsequently stationed at a base near Fairbanks, Alaska. There, Ross saw snow and mountains for the primary time—staples of the landscapes now stacked in hundreds in Virginia.
A warehouse is not a gallery, so site visitors aren’t recommended. It’s a completely functional workplace, Sarah Strohl, the government assistant of Bob Ross Inc. Writes in an email. But a lot of Ross’s artwork pepper the partitions, alongside large-than-life photos of him retaining a baby raccoon, considered one of his many valuable woodland creatures. “The artwork inside the halls is an artwork that has hung up within the Bob Ross Inc. Places of work because the ’90s,” Strohl says. “There are pretty a few.”
As one would possibly assume from his 30-minute-episode-pleasant style, there’s no one Ross that stands out as a magnum opus. Describe one and you might describe a dozen: a waterfall, a stand of bushes, a small cabin overlooking a lake. But as a group, the oeuvre is alternatively astounding, a testimony to consistency, replicability, and determination.
So whilst the Smithsonian National Museum of American History got down to acquire a number of Ross’s work, they searched for an instance that become consultant, consistent with Eric Jentsch, curator and deputy chair of the department of tradition and arts at the museum. Jentsch worked with Bob Ross Inc. To select four artwork. He in brief taken into consideration acquiring Shades of Gray, a hanging grayscale portray Ross made upon request from a colorblind fan (season 2, episode four), however opted for greater essential examples of the painter’s ordinary issues and moist-on-moist fashion: the ebook model of Blue Ridge Falls (season 30, episode thirteen) and all three variations of On a Clear Day (season 14, episode 8).
“There are differences between the art work, as everyone had a totally precise purpose,” Jentsch says. “The fundamental idea is identical, but if your appearance intently, there are differences in the lakefront, there’s an extra element.” Jentsch and the museum also received a diffusion of Ross-adjacent memorabilia, inclusive of a stepstool he turned into an easel, a palette, brushes he stored in an old ammunition container, fan letters, manufacturing notebooks, a Funko Pop parent, and bobbleheads. The Smithsonian has but to set a date to show Ross’s paintings, but Jentsch says they wish to soon.
Ross, who died in 1995 of lymphoma, become less concerned along with his physical legacy than he becomes with inspiring technology of human beings to pick up a paintbrush. “He became not promoting himself as an artist, but selling that different humans may be artists as properly,” Jentsch says. Fittingly, none of the paintings in Bob Ross Inc. Are for sale. In reality, the notion never even took place to the Kowalskis, according to The New York Times.
“Well, we show humans that each person can paint a photograph that they’re pleased with,” Ross told the Orlando Sentinel in 1990. “It may never dangle inside the Smithsonian, however, it will simply be some thing that they’ll cling of their home and be pleased with. And that’s what it’s all approximately.”