Artist Thomas Kinkade Dead at 54

Via the BBC:  Thomas Kinkade, landscape painter, dies at 54.

According to the report, he died of natural causes.

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Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. Ron Beasley says:

    RIP and condolences to family and friends but I won’t miss his faux art – KMart art for the wealthy.

  2. george says:

    RIP, 54 is too young.

    Art’s in the eye of the beholder. Can’t say I like his stuff much, but I’d still hang it up on my walls before I’d hang a lot of the stuff that gets critical aclaim. Of course, there’s a lot of art that I’d put up before either. I suspect being panned by the critics was actually good for his sales.

  3. Jenos Idanian says:

    I always thought of him as the Stephen King of art — and is there really something wrong with giving people what they want? Yeah, it would suck if everyone did it, but the man had a hell of a talent for appealing to large groups. He should have profited from it.

  4. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian: I take a brief break from my refusal to respond to Jenos just to say that it’s clear he knows as little about writing as he does art. Yes, King is a massively popular writer, but he’s also one who has continually tried to push himself in new artistic directions when he could have kept churning out the same books over and over again and seen the same return creatively. Not always successful, but that’s because he’s always willing to take risks. As a prose stylist he’s no Faulkner, but he’s far from a hack like Dean Koontz or James Patterson.

    Kinkade did nothing but pander, painting the same shlock over and over again. He was the Andy Warhol of the trailer park, a huckster with a schtick. And very seriously questionable business practices.

    (None of which, by the way, lessens the shock and sadness at his death at such a young age. Better he should have gone on painting into his 90s.)

    But don’t use Kinkade to trash King. You’re not worthy to type his name.

  5. Ron Beasley says:

    @wr: I’m not sure pander is the right word I think capitalize would be more appropriate. Even his “originals” were not originals. He made an original and them it was reproduced in a factory of production workers with paint brushes. A great business model, I don’t deny him that, but not art.

  6. Jenos Idanian says:

    @wr: You just can’t quit me, can you? What is this, your seventeenth “I’m not talking to you any more ever again?”

    You wannabe effete twit, I like King. And as you so ably proved, “offer the people what they want” is something I approve of, but you find plebian and offensive. Perhaps Tom Clancy would have been a better analogy (especially since he “franchises” his name out), but King himself doesn’t describe his works as fine literature.

    Kinkade found a way to produce something a lot of people liked, and make a hell of a living off it. That’s quintessentially American. And I can’t think of a higher compliment.

  7. Eliana Deungaro says:

    Kinkade, a beleza de suas obras, me proporciona alegria e paz interior.
    Fará muita falta aqui.
    Deus o tenha em bom lugar,

  8. grumpy realist says:


    Actually, the best enjoyment I got out of Thomas Kinkade’s work were the many parodies of his work I found all over the internet. (I especially liked the Kinkade-Lovecraft mash-ups.)