Bob Ross Pioneer Painting Fetches Unprecedented $10 Million Price Tag

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In reaching back to the world of the ordinary, an individual artist managed to do what most couldn’t – transform art into something for everyone. Such were the exploits of Bob Ross, who made painting accessible to the masses via his half-hour PBS show armed with nothing but a bristle brush, putty knife, and an abundance of positive reassurance. Never in his wildest dreams would Ross have expected one of his creations to fetch an astounding US$10 million.

However, the unanticipated has unfolded, with a Minneapolis-based gallery placing that sizeable price on Ross’ “A Walk in the Woods,” the pioneer painting of over 400 pieces he painted on his television program “The Joy of Painting.”

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“Think of this as the debut card for Bob Ross,” says Ryan Nelson, owner of Modern Artifact gallery and an ardent fan of Ross’s work, describing Ross’s first piece created on the show, which premiered on January 11, 1983.

Ross, who passed away in 1995, made art approachable with each airing of his show which ran from 1983 until 1994, inviting his viewers to paint alongside him as he built idyllic landscapes brimming with mountain-backed streams, rustic cabins, waterfalls, and mills, all achieved seemingly without much effort.

Nelson considers Ross to be the “people’s artist” and hopes to give the painting exposure to a broader audience owing to its colossal price tag. “It might not be a masterpiece, but it represents the masses who believe in the greatness of Ross’s work,” he says.

Following its creation on the inaugural season of “The Joy of Painting” filmed in Falls Creek, Virginia, the painting was sold to raise funds for a local PBS station. Remaining in the home of a volunteer who acquired it, the painting spent 39 years behind quiet walls. Fast forward to now, Nelson has procured the iconic painting for a cool $9.85 million, setting an unprecedented record for Ross’s pieces.

Publicist Megan Hoffman added that Ross’s popularity has skyrocketed in recent years and that Nelson is in no rush to sell the painting. Instead, he plans to showcase the piece to wider audiences, allowing it to be enjoyed and appreciated.

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