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Twin Cities art gallery selling "the rookie card of Bob Ross paintings" for $10 million

Twin Cities art gallery selling first painting Bob Ross made for “The Joy of Painting”
Twin Cities art gallery selling first painting Bob Ross made for “The Joy of Painting” 02:09

WAYZATA, Minn. — A Twin Cities-based art gallery is selling a one-of-a-kind piece of art, painted by late artist and television host Bob Ross.

Ross is well-known for his public television show "The Joy of Painting."

As the owner of Modern Artifact, Ryan Nelson knows art — specifically the art of Bob Ross.

"I thought 'I wonder if there's any Bob Ross paintings available. That would be so cool to own a Bob Ross painting,'" said Nelson.

Modern Artifact now has six of his paintings at their gallery. The most important painting they have is featured in the very first episode of Bob Ross' show.

"The painting's called 'A Walk in the Woods,'" said Nelson. "This is his vision of what a walk in the woods would look like."

Nelson acquired the painting within the last year, after he bought it from the previous owner, a volunteer at a Virginia PBS station, where the show was first shot.  


"Sure enough, it was the one, and it ended up being authenticated, fully authenticated as season 1, episode 1. The rookie card of Bob Ross paintings," said Nelson.

It's listed for sale on the Modern Artifact website for just shy of $10 million. Even at that price, Nelson said a number of people have shown interest.

"Our phone lines have been so jammed up that it's really hard to figure out where the demand will end," said Nelson.

Nelson says that demand lies less in how special the painting is, and has more to do with how special the human behind it was.

"When you actually understand the belief that he puts in you and that you can accomplish anything and that you can do this," said Nelson. "I think it's just that belief that you can do something, that you can be better, and I think that's a really important message."

While the painting is listed for sale, Nelson said he's considering instead to travel the Bob Ross art to museums and shows across the U.S.

He said he'll see what unfolds in the next couple of weeks.

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