Thomas Kinkade art galleries across the country are reporting a surge in the sales of paintings, prints and reproductions by the self-proclaimed “Painter of Light” who specialized in cozy scenes of villages, cottages and Christmas scenes. Kinkade passed away on Friday (April 6) at 54.
“Phones are just ringing nonstop. We have five lines and they’re constantly lit up. People are waiting in line to buy paintings,” Nathan Ross, a Kinkade art dealer, tells the Associated Press. “It’s just been a real juggling match to make sure everyone gets taken care of.”
The sudden windfall in sales would have been a welcome change to Kinkade, who filed for bankruptcy in 2010 and was making payments on a $3 million court award to two former Kinkade gallery owners.
Pieces with Kinkade’s signature are in high demand, selling for approximately $8,000 to $15,000 each. One original painting is selling for $150,000 — Ross raised the price after Kinkade’s death because of the uptick in interest.
The Washington Post compiled some helpful hints if you’re in the market for a Kinkade work. Pieces actually painted by the artist are rare — most sold in his signature galleries are mass-produced reproductions.