Every man a Rembrandt according to Max S. Klein

Painting in our room at the Andiron Inn (Little River, CA)

Over the weekend, my girlfriend surprised me by reserving the “Nature” room at the Andiron Inn in Little River, CA. It was an amazing couple of days at the Inn. The overall ambiance and decor of the cabins was reminiscent of 1950s/early 1960s in New York’s Andirondacks (that I’ve ever been but I’ve seen pictures thanks to the vintage Viewmaster in the room). I posted the picture above because I didn’t want to be so critical with these few posts because I’ll just come out and say it, my mind has been all over the place and feeling a bit fried from art theory, art criticism, and art history. I needed to post something fun and quirky so here it is.

My girlfriend speculated it was done in oil, which is a bit odd considering most paint by number kits are done in acrylic. Although paint by number paintings are simple and straightforward (what you see is what you get), the story behind this phenomena piqued my interest. I found a Wiki that notes the origin of the paint by number kits. Of course, with further research, I found a Smithsonian site dedicated to the history of Max S. Klein, the owner of Palmer Paint Company of Detroit and creator of the Paint by Number kits.


Author: Dorothy R. Santos

Dorothy R. Santos (b. 1978) is a Filipina-American writer, editor, curator, and educator whose research interests include new media and digital art, activism, artificial intelligence, and biotechnology. Born and raised in San Francisco, California, she holds Bachelor’s degrees in Philosophy and Psychology from the University of San Francisco, and received her Master’s degree in Visual and Critical Studies at the California College of the Arts. She serves as one of the editors-in-chief for Hyphen magazine. Her work appears in art21, Art Practical, Daily Serving, Rhizome, Hyperallergic, and SF MOMA's Open Space. She has lectured at the De Young museum, Stanford University, School of Visual Arts, and more. Her essay “Materiality to Machines: Manufacturing the Organic and Hypotheses for Future Imaginings,” was published in The Routledge Companion to Biology in Art and Architecture (2016). She is currently a Yerba Buena Center for the Arts fellow researching the concept of citizenship. She also serves as executive staff for the Bay Area Society for Art & Activism and board member for the SOMArts Cultural Center.

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