One of the Most Popular Artists in America and UCB Grad Died Saturday

Thomas Kinkade died of natural causes at 54.

U.C Berkeley graduate and “one of the most popular artists in America,” died suddenly at his home in Los Gatos Saturday. He was 54.

Thomas Kinkade’s paintings hang in “an estimated one of every 20 homes in the United States”, says the Mercury News.

Fans say his “prints of idyllic cottages and bucolic garden gates” feel warm and familiar feeling, while detractors see his work as “tacky” and mass-produced. 

Kinkade was “not well-regarded by the fine art establishment,” according to the New York Times, but he built an “art empire by creating sentimental paintings that were…relatively inexpensive.” His paintings cost anywhere from “hundreds of dollars to more than $10,000,” says the Mercury News.

In addition to selling work through his own company, he sold it on “cable television home shopping networks,” according to the New York Times.

Kinkade’s Media Arts Group company took in $32 million per quarter a decade ago, before going private “in the middle of the past decade.”

Someone complied a slideshow of Kinkade’s work on Youtube. Watch it here.


Heather Wood April 09, 2012 at 09:57 PM
I suppose, Tanya. His wife's first comment in print as "He as a good provider". Guess that about sums it up.
Tanya Jo Miller April 09, 2012 at 10:05 PM
That settles it, I'm taking up watercoloring!
dave blake April 10, 2012 at 09:34 PM
My best wishes to the Kincade family, and my commiseration to the world of actual art that this long trial has finally come to an end.
dave blake April 10, 2012 at 09:39 PM
(For what it's worth, Salvador Dali, who was at one point quite a real artist himself, also supervised a mass production "art" factory. Dali's scam was more reprehensible, because, unlike Kincade, Dali went to pains to disguise the provenance of his late-career work, the only direct production of which he participated in was adding his signature.)
Tanya Jo Miller April 10, 2012 at 10:07 PM
Wow, good to know. Especially since I'm a Dali fan. It's one of those things...love CD? Don't read the liner notes...well back when there were CDs and liner notes


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