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Thomas Kinkade

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Thomas Kinkade

Hometown Pride

© Thomas Kinkade

Thomas Kinkade:

  • Birthplace: Sacramento, California
  • Born: January 19, 1958
  • Died: April 6, 2012

He married his wife in 1982 (legally separated at the time of his death) and the couple had four daughters.

After working as a painter in the film industry, Kinkade and his wife started offering and publishing his artwork themselves, eventually turning their small business into a multi-million dollar one.

The Painter of Light:

While he was alive, Kinkade was known as America's most-collected living artist and was self-proclaimed as Thomas Kinkade Painter of Light™,

Kinkade was certainly a prolific artist during his lifetime. His official biography says: Thom painted over 1,000 masterworks covering topics that include, cabin and nature scenes, beautiful gardens, classic cottages, sports, inspirational content, lighthouses and powerful seascapes, impressionists, and classic Americana.

He produced art in every price range and for every budget. If you liked his work, it is readily available, enough to surround yourself with.

Thomas Kinkade is represented in galleries in virtually every state and in many foreign countries as well. If you're looking for an exclusive gallery, look for the signature Gold Gallery symbol. These are dedicated 100% to Thomas Kinkade works.

Kinkade has been a featured artist on Bradford Exchange for many years. His works were also available through QVC.

Bradford Exchange:

Known for their collector items, the Bradford Exchange has numerous Thomas Kinkade pieces, some are standard holiday fare and others are a bit over the top -- like this Thomas Kinkade Talking Nativity Angel Sculpture, a limited edition with a 2D scene on the apron, plays music and even has Kinkade telling the Nativity story.

Another piece, that will appeal to many collectors, depicts The True Meaning of Christmas which has Santa carving a Nativity set in a table-top centerpiece. It also has the Christmas story told in the voice of the artist.

The Bradford Exchange also offers Kinkade designed jewelry, figurines, magazine racks and tray tables (also emblazoned with copies of his paintings).

Hometown Pride:

Over the years, many of Kinkade's works would benefit numerous charities, including this special edition released in 2002 and benefiting Habitat for Humanity.

"HometownPride, embodies the American spirit, conveying the simplicity and serenity of life in everyday neighborhoods across America," Kinkade says. "Part of that spirit is the spirit of community giving. Here we have a chance to celebrate our charity and our inalienable freedoms."

Fans Loved Him:

His fans loved him and art critics thought little of the art and commercialization. Perhaps Shelly Esaak says it best on her blog, His work made many people happy, and that is all that truly needs to be said."

But one thing is clear, Kinkade appealed to Americans across the country -- from little towns to big cities. Perhaps it is the religious slant his art had or maybe it's the idyllic scenes he presented depicting a way of life that we only wish we remembered or maybe it was a matter of art (from a well-known artist) being affordable. In either case, he was a beloved figure to legions of Americans and apparently, judging by the galleries -- folks around the world, who wanted a picture of an american way of life.

If you liked and wanted one of his paintings or prints they are available in every price range. Kinkade offers copies on his website in all manner of finishes. Canvas, textured, brushworks, gift prints, art prints -- the choices are almost endless, with prices to match.

Sculptured Pieces
Metal cast sculptures were another field that Kinkade was venturing into, several pieces are shown on the official website, made in bronze or mixed metal. One in particular is a depiction of his hands in prayer for almost $3000., obviously some of Kinkade's work required deep pockets.

Other more affordable, porcelain sculptured pieces include porcelain dolls, angels, nativity sets and cottages.

My Two Cents
The catalog of his art often reminds me of the sales posted that will advertise "Sofa Size Paintings". In his case it was not only sofa-size paintings but also table-top prints, end-table size art and useable art. This is perhaps my criticism of his works. When I collect something, I want a piece of art to enjoy that not everyone else has. It's been said that one in twenty households have something Kinkade. I don't want to see the picture I have hanging on the wall in a dozen other place. Or on a coffee cup, cookie jar, a dish, canisters, pocket knife or horrors, on the tummy of a teddy bear.. But apparently I am in the minority on this, as the Thomas Kinkade market has offered these things and so much more with great success.

His artwork was printed on: luggage, scarves, mugs, tea cups, cookie jars, plates, dolls, pocket knives, clocks, teapots, bowls, several different styles of lamps, Christmas ornaments, tabletop Christmas trees, music boxes, bells, vases, decorative flags, postcards, suncatchers, inspirational cards, puzzles, salt & peppers, napkin holders, flower pots, a series of porcelain birds, candle toppers, magnets, candles and the list goes on (and on).

But in the end it all comes down to one thing, if you like it or even better, love it, and if you can afford it, go ahead and collect it! Collecting is a very personal thing and no one can tell you what not to collect, just remember my favorite saying - Collect with your heart, but be smart!

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