"Happy Accidents," exhibition of Bob Ross paintings opens in Virginia

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/09/10/happy-accidents-exhibitio.html


I won’t be happy 'til I get one of these.


I complemented a woman painting in the park once, “Nice, looks like Bob Ross.”

She was not pleased.


This past March, following a torrent of requests from Bob Ross fans, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American Art announced that it’s including a collection of the artist’s paintings, along with other items from The Joy of Painting (including the converted stepladder he used as an easel), in its permanent collection. Alas, the Smithsonian later said it had no plans to exhibit the new acquisitions.

While they may be far from Met or National Gallery-level work, there’s important historical and cultural significance here. So sad.


But… why? I mean, his painting show is nice, but the actual paintings are a whole lot of nothing, an uninteresting byproduct.

Which is presumably why they have them in the collection. But without an interesting context in which to show them, there are a lot more interesting, deserving paintings to put on display.

What a cruel thing to say.


I was thinking about this after I posted it. I realize now it’s like when someone asks you to guess their age or weight, and without thinking you give an honest answer.

It didn’t occur to me until she got pissed that maybe Bob Ross wasn’t what she was going for, but boy howdy, it sure looked that way.


When I was a senior and in the HS play, I volunteered to paint the scenery. 1/3 of the backdrop was outdoors. While I was painting it, numerous people came up and commented on how great it looked. I demurred by telling them that it was all just Bob Ross technique . I felt exactly the opposite of your street painter, I presume.

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