The artist and creator of the first paint-by-numbers kits has died in Sylvania, Ohio, at 93, his family confirmed to The Associated Press.

Dan Robbins died Monday, his son told to the AP. Robbins first developed the idea for the pictures while working for the Detroit-based Palmer Paint Company after hearing that Leonardo da Vinci used numbered backgrounds to teach his students.

{mosads}Robbins began marketing the kits with Max Klein, an engineer and owner of the company.

The company was selling 20 million kits a year by the mid-1950s, according to The Associated Press, although sales would drop off shortly after.

The kits were the subject of a 2001 exhibition at the National Museum of American History, according to the AP.

Tags Paint by Numbers Smithsonian Visual arts
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