A new temporary exhibit is now open at the Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum in the Special Exhibits Gallery.
According to the organization, “By the Numbers” showcases paintings from the Eisenhower Library’s own collection.
Paint by number kits became increasingly popular in the 1950s. They were so popular that Eisenhower’s scheduling secretary handed out kits to many of the Oval Office visitors with instructions to complete and return their kit. This pet project of Thomas Edwin Stephens resulted in a humorous and treasured gift to President Eisenhower. Aware of Ike’s fondness for painting, this ‘curated exhibit’ was proudly displayed around the White House West Wing. Today, this collection forms the core of the Eisenhower Presidential Library’s exhibit By the Numbers. Come visit and take a nostalgic look at these friendly, thoughtful gifts to the “painter president.”
“At first glance, it appears to be a typical art exhibit,” explains Curator William Snyder. “We tend to associate these names – Hoover, Goodpaster, Rockefeller – as key historical figures or Ethel Merman as the famous Broadway star. You don’t expect to see a completed paint by number piece with their signature on it. This exhibit shows a more personal, human side of the Eisenhower Administration.”
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