Image of By the Numbers Exhibit Logo

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.”