Thomas Kinkade
Thomas Kinkade

Celebrity Profile

Name: Thomas Kinkade
Occupation: Pop Artist
Gender: Male
Birth Day: January 19, 1958
Death Date: Apr 6, 2012 (age 54)
Age: Aged 54
Birth Place: Sacramento, United States
Zodiac Sign: Capricorn

Social Accounts

Height: in centimeters - N/A
Weight: in kg - N/A
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Thomas Kinkade

Thomas Kinkade was born on January 19, 1958 in Sacramento, United States (54 years old). Thomas Kinkade is a Pop Artist, zodiac sign: Capricorn. Find out Thomas Kinkadenet worth 2020, salary 2020 detail bellow.


His company, Media Arts Group, Inc., repeatedly came under fire for questionable business dealings.

Does Thomas Kinkade Dead or Alive?

As per our current Database, Thomas Kinkade died on Apr 6, 2012 (age 54).

Net Worth

Net Worth 2020


Salary 2020

Not known

Before Fame

He studied at the University of California-Berkeley and at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. He and James Gurney co-authored the sketching handbook, "The Artist's Guide to Sketching," which led to them being hired as background artists for 1983's animated feature, "Fire and Ice," from the Ralph Bakshi Studios.

Biography Timeline


William Thomas Kinkade was born on January 19, 1958, in Sacramento County, California. He grew up in the town of Placerville, graduated from El Dorado High School in 1976, and attended the University of California, Berkeley, and Art Center College of Design in Pasadena.


In June 1980, Kinkade spent a summer traveling across the United States with his college friend James Gurney. The two of them finished their journey in New York and secured a contract with Guptill Publications to produce a sketching handbook. Two years later they produced The Artist's Guide to Sketching, which was one of Guptill Publications' best-sellers that year.


He married Nanette Willey in 1982, and the couple had four daughters: Merritt (b. 1988), Chandler (b. 1991), Winsor (b. 1995) and Everett (b. 1997), all named for famous artists. He and his wife had been separated for over a year before his death in 2012.


From 1997 through 2005, court documents show at least 350 independently owned Kinkade franchises. By May 2005, that number had more than halved. Kinkade received $50 million during this period. An initial cash investment of $80,000 to $150,000 is listed as a startup cost for franchisees.


In a 2001 interview, Kinkade said, "I am really the most controversial artist in the world."

In 2001, Media Arts unveiled "The Village at Hiddenbrooke," a Kinkade-themed community of homes, built outside of Vallejo, California, in partnership with the international construction firm Taylor Woodrow. Salon's Janelle Brown visited the community and found it to be "the exact opposite of the Kinkadeian ideal. Instead of quaint cottages, there's generic tract housing; instead of lush landscapes, concrete patios; instead of a cozy village, there's a bland collection of homes with nothing—not a church, not a cafe, not even a town square—to draw them together."


Kinkade supported non-profit organizations focusing on children, humanitarian relief, and the arts, including the Make-a-Wish Foundation, World Vision, Art for Children Charities, and the Salvation Army. In 2002, he partnered with the Salvation Army to create two charity prints, The Season of Giving and The Light of Freedom. Proceeds from the sale of the prints were donated to The Salvation Army for their relief efforts at Ground Zero and to aid the victims of the September 11 attacks and their families in New York City, Pennsylvania, and Washington D.C. More than $2 million was donated as a result of this affiliation.

In 2002, Kinkade was inducted into the California Tourism Hall of Fame as an individual who had influenced the public's perception of tourism in California through his images of California sights. He was selected along with fellow artists Simon Bull and Howard Behrens to commemorate the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics and the 2002 World Series. He was also honored with the 2002 World Children's Center Humanitarian Award for his contributions to improving the welfare of children and their families through his work with Kolorful Kids and Art for Children.


In 2003, Kinkade was chosen as a National Spokesman for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and during the 20 Years of Light Tour in 2004, he raised over $750,000 and granted 12 wishes for children with life-threatening medical conditions.

Archbishop Mitty High School of San Jose dedicated the "Thomas Kinkade Center for the Arts" in 2003.

In 2003, Kinkade was chosen as a national spokesperson for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. In 2004, he was selected for a second time by the Christmas Pageant of Peace to paint the National Christmas Tree in Washington, D.C. The painting, Symbols of Freedom, was the official image for the 2004 Pageant of Peace.


In 2004, Kinkade received an award from NALED recognizing him as the Most Award Winning Artist in the Past 25 Years. In 2005, he was named the NALED Graphic Artist of the Year. He was also recognized for his philanthropic efforts by NALED with the Eugene Freedman Humanitarian Award.


In 2005, the Points of Light Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to engaging more people more effectively in volunteer service to help solve serious social problems, named Kinkade as Ambassador of Light. He was the second person in the Foundation's 15-year history to be chosen as Ambassador, the first being the organization's founder, former U.S. President George H. W. Bush. During his Ambassador of Light Tour, Kinkade visited cities nationwide to raise awareness and money for the Points of Light Foundation and the Volunteer Center National Network, which serves more than 360 Points of Light member Volunteer Centers in communities across the country.


Kinkade's company, Media Arts Group Inc., was accused of unfair dealings with owners of Thomas Kinkade Signature Gallery franchises. In 2006, an arbitration board awarded Karen Hazlewood and Jeffrey Spinello $860,000 in damages and $1.2 million in fees and expenses due to Kinkade's company "[failing] to disclose material information" that would have discouraged them from investing in the gallery. The award was later increased to $2.8 million with interest and legal fees. The plaintiffs and other former gallery owners also leveled accusations of being pressured to open additional galleries that were not financially viable, being forced to take on expensive, unsalable inventory, and being undercut by discount outlets whose prices they were not allowed to match. Kinkade denied the accusations, and Media Arts Group had successfully defended itself in previous suits by other former gallery owners. Kinkade himself was not singled out in the finding of fraud by the arbitration board. In August 2006, the Los Angeles Times reported that the FBI was investigating these issues, with agents from offices across the country conducting interviews.

In 2006, John Dandois, Media Arts Group executive, recounted a story that on one occasion six years previously, Kinkade became drunk at a Siegfried & Roy magic show in Las Vegas and began shouting "Codpiece! Codpiece!" at the performers. Eventually he was calmed by his mother. Dandois also said of Kinkade, "Thom would be fine, he would be drinking, and then all of a sudden, you couldn't tell where the boundary was, and then he became very incoherent, and he would start cussing and doing a lot of weird stuff." In June 2010, Kinkade was arrested in Carmel, California, for driving while under the influence of alcohol. He was later convicted.


Some of the people who mentored and taught Kinkade prior to college were Charles Bell and Glenn Wessels. Wessels encouraged Kinkade to go to the University of California at Berkeley. Kinkade's relationship with Wessels is the subject of a semi-autobiographical film released in 2008, Christmas Cottage. After two years of general education at Berkeley, Kinkade transferred to the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena.

Kinkade was selected by a number of organizations to celebrate milestones, including Disneyland's 50th anniversary, Walt Disney World Resort's 35th anniversary, Elvis Presley's purchase of Graceland 50 years previously and the 25th anniversary of its opening to the public, and Yankee Stadium's farewell 85th season in 2008. Kinkade also paid tribute to Fenway Park.

Kinkade was the artist of choice to capture the historic Biltmore House on canvas; he also introduced the commemorative portrait of the 50th running of the Daytona 500 in 2008.


Kinkade said, "I am often asked why there are no people in my paintings," but in 2009 he painted a portrait of the Indianapolis Speedway for the cover of that year's Indianapolis 500 race program that included details of the diversity of the crowd, hiding among them the figures of Norman Rockwell and Dale Earnhardt. He also painted the farewell portrait for Yankee Stadium. About the Indianapolis Speedway painting, Kinkade said:

Kinkade was also criticized for the extent to which he had commercialized his art, for example, by selling his prints on the QVC home shopping network. Some academics expressed concerns about the implications of Kinkade's success in relation to Western perceptions of visual art: in 2009, Nathan Rabin of The A.V. Club wrote, "To his detractors, he represents the triumph of sub-mediocrity and the commercialization and homogenization of painting [...] perhaps no other painter has been as shameless or as successful at transforming himself into a corporation as Kinkade." Among these circles, he is known more today as a "mall artist" or a chocolate box artist than as a merited painter. Rabin went on to collectively describe Kinkade's paintings as "a maudlin, sickeningly sentimental vision of a world where everything is as soothing as a warm cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows on a cold December day."


Kinkade is reported to have earned $53 million for his artistic work in the period 1997 to May 2005. At the height of his business, there was a national network of several hundred Thomas Kinkade Signature Galleries; however, they began to falter during the late-2000s recession. In June 2010, his Morgan Hill, California manufacturing operation that reproduced the art filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, listing nearly $6.2 million in creditors' claims. The company, Pacific Metro, planned to reduce its costs by outsourcing much of its manufacturing.

Former gallery dealers also charged that the company used Christianity as a tool to take advantage of people. "They really knew how to bait the hook," said one ex-dealer who spoke on condition of anonymity. "They certainly used the Christian hook." One former dealer's lawyer stated, "Most of my clients got involved with Kinkade because it was presented as a religious opportunity. Being defrauded is awful enough, but doing it in the name of God is really despicable." On June 2, 2010, Pacific Metro, the artist's production company, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, one day after defaulting on a $1 million court-imposed payment to the aforementioned Karen Hazlewood and Jeffrey Spinello. A $500,000 payment had previously been disbursed.


Kinkade is reportedly one of the most counterfeited artists, due in large part to advances in affordable, high resolution digital photography and printing technology. Additionally, mass-produced hand-painted fakes from countries such as China and Thailand abound in the U.S. and around the globe. In 2011, the Kinkade studio said that Kinkade was the most collected artist in Asia but received no income from those regions due to widespread forgery.

Mat Johnson's 2011 novel Pym includes a parody of Kinkade named Thomas Karvel, "the Master of Light".


Although Kinkade was among the most commercially successful painters of the 1990s, his work has been negatively received by art critics. Shortly after news of Kinkade's death in April 2012, author Susan Orlean called his passing the death of a "kitsch master." In the same month, journalist Laura Miller lampooned Kinkade's work as "a bunch of garish cottage paintings."

Kinkade died in his Monte Sereno, California home on April 6, 2012 at age 54. He is buried at Madronia Cemetery in Saratoga, California.

Following Kinkade's death, his wife sought a restraining order against his girlfriend to prevent her from publicly releasing information and photos with respect to Kinkade, his marriage, his business, and his personal conduct that "would be personally devastating" to Kinkade's wife. By the end of the year, in December 2012, Nanette Kinkade and Amy Pinto-Walsh announced they had reached a private agreement.


Bob Odenkirk references Thomas Kinkade on his 2014 comedy album Amateur Hour. On the track "The Kids", Odenkirk includes Kinkade's paintings in a litany of things he encourages his children to appreciate when in reality he wants them to reject when they are older.


In the 2017 movie, The House, with Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler, the suburban casino hides their safe behind a large Thomas Kinkade print.

Family Life

Thomas married Nanette Wiley in 1982, and the couple had four children: Merritt, Winsor, Everett, and Chandler. Thomas named his daughters after famous artists.

🎂 Upcoming Birthday

Currently, Thomas Kinkade is 64 years, 8 months and 12 days old. Thomas Kinkade will celebrate 65th birthday on a Thursday 19th of January 2023. Below we countdown to Thomas Kinkade upcoming birthday.


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