American artist Thomas Kinkade passed away of natural causes on April 6, 2012. Kinkade was 54 years old and leaves behind a wife, four children and a huge empire of Kinkade art.
When Thomas Kinkade burst on the scene art lovers were often dismissive, but the average collector loved him. The Painter of Light was, if nothing else, productive. I'd venture to say that a peek into any homes would find something Kinkade. It might be a Christmas decorative, sculpture, but often it would be a print proudly hanging on the wall.
Kinkade is, and has been, one of the featured artists on Bradford Exchange for many years, he sold his art through QVC and in exclusive Thomas Kinkade stores at malls across the country.
When a notable figure passes away, there is usually a rush to acquire, buy or collect anything with their name on it. In the case of Kinkade, if you're so inclined, take your time! There is plenty of Kinkade art to go around and his death will not see a shortage of products. Don't pay the higher prices that might be sought in the first few months after his death. With all the licenses, prints and products produced under the Kinkade name, he'll be around for a very long time.
From an older article on the Collectibles site: Thomas Kinkade is America's most-collected living artist, a painter-communicator whose tranquil, light-infused paintings bring hope and joy to millions each year. A devoted husband and father of four daughters, Kinkade grew up in the small town of Placerville, CA, where his traditional values were instilled. His devotion to spreading joy and peace through his art is Kinkade's life goal.