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Celebrating Bob Ross's Joy of Painting

Weekend Program with Hands-on Painting Class

Sunday, March 1, 2020 - 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Code: 1L0303

Bob Ross teaching "The Joy of Painting" (©Bob Ross Inc./Used with permission)

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Between its original public television run from 1983 to 1994 and its current streaming rebroadcasts, Bob Ross’s “Joy of Painting” program is the most-recognized, most-watched television art show in history—and continues to open the world of painting to countless amateurs.

The soft-spoken, supportive Ross developed a unique style for teaching painting that made the most of the television medium, and he subsequently became a cultural phenomenon whose impact far outreached his modest program. The Smithsonian’s American History Museum recently added two of Ross’s paintings, his easel, palette, brushes, and other “Joy of Painting”–related materials to its collection.

In the morning, celebrate Bob Ross’s art by enjoying a painting class with a certified Ross instructor. In the afternoon, join curator Eric Jentsch of the American History Museum and Sarah Strohl of Bob Ross, Inc., as they examine the artist’s continuing legacy in a special discussion. NOTE: There will be a 1-hour lunch break (participants provide their own).


10 a.m.  Painting class with a certified Ross instructor

Learn Ross’s signature wet-on-wet technique in which special firm oil paints glide across a wet-based canvas with a large brush or palette knife making clouds, mountains, and trees appear in seconds. There’s no wait for paint layers to dry—and no experience is necessary to take home a Ross-inspired landscape of your own.

12 p.m.  Lunch break (participants provide their own)

1 p.m.  Talk

Eric Jentsch, curator of entertainment and sports at the museum, is joined in conversation by Sarah Strohl of Bob Ross, Inc., to discuss Ross’s continued legacy, including the artist’s resurgent popularity as a mild and tempered voice in an increasingly polarized and argumentative media landscape.

S. Dillon Ripley Center
1100 Jefferson Dr SW
Metro: Smithsonian (Mall exit)