Thomas Kinkade FBI Investigation

Thomas Kinkade or the “painter of light” is reportedly under investigation by the FBI. It’s not the first time the saintly painter has been in hot water though.
Kinkade and senior executives have been accused of fraudulently inducing investors to open Thomas Kinkade galleries (selling just Kinkade paintings), and then financially ruining them.

thomas kinkade

Painter Said to Be Focus of FBI Probe
“The ex-owners allege in arbitration claims that, among other things, the artist known for his dreamily luminous landscapes and street scenes used his Christian faith to persuade them to invest in the independently owned stores, which sell only Kinkade’s work.”

They really knew how to bait the hook,” said one former dealer who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the case. “They certainly used the Christian hook.” LA Times

About Dion

Australian artist and observer of things.. all kinds of things. I like a wide variety of art, from the weird and wonderful to the bold and beautiful.. and everything in between.


  1. Talk about your good christian :D

  2. This is a weird story, a strange intersection of religion, art, and money.

  3. There’s nothing like persuading the punters you’re a good Christian to make them feel you can be trusted with their money. Remember that little girl? The alleged “prodigy”? Same deal: sweet little Christian.
    Be an atheist and don’t get duped!

  4. Just an additional fact on the Kincade stores. We have one in our local regional mall. A few years ago it enlarged its offerings to include three or four other artists without the holy light but with the same feel-good, familiar-scene approach. The accompanying material (and my discussion with the manager) indicated that these were part of the Kincade organization “stable”. Actually met one through happening to look in when he was being interviewed by local TV. He was a former child actor who in his thirties or forties turned to art as a career (not for fun). While his career spluttered and then died,he was the star of a still remembered early TV show as well as being featured in films. His paintings fit well the Kincade identity and his name undoubtedly still has some resonance with middle aged and older potential buyers. There is a reasonably steady flow of visits from the Kindade organization, including one woman who spoke on how her job was to add that “luminous” quality to paintings. Mr. Kincade himself was due while I have been away in NYC.I have no idea how well the local “gallery” is doing financially but they are still in business so they are at least meeting the heavy rental costs.Whatever may be the “Christian” selling point elsehere, I have noted nothing of thst about the gallery save, perhaps, that Kincades books are for sale. Can’t say that I ever looked closely enough at them to note their title. Informal conversation with some of my acquaintances who “love” his pictures, for what is worth, find that holy light, as I call it, the big selling point.
    In addition, with regard to the painter who spoke of being a light “specialist”, the gallery makes quite clear that one can buy at various prices, one price for a junior associates oil, a higher price for a senior associate, and the highest price if Kincade himself has signed (and, I assume, presumably has painted it himself).


  5. I’m sure there are a few out there who aren’t atheists, yet manage to avoid such scams. It really is possible to have faith and retain your critical thinking skills. Bill Moyers has done a great PBS series about this topic:

  6. Thanks for copying the LA times article,Like so many other media outlets have done.I have been a dealer for going on 10 years and have never been duped by Kinkade{note the correct spelling].He has never forced his faith on me and I admire him for his efforts to help people across this country and in other countries.The news media will not print the response that the dealers are going to give them in the next few days because it is the truth.I will see Thom very soon to help him raise some much needed money for the Points of Light Foundation,and The Volenteer Centers.

  7. He isnt getting much positive press lately, so I wonder if sales of his works are changed by it all in any way.

    Andy Warhol said “Don’t pay any attention to what they write about you. Just measure it in inches.” But I’m not sure I agree with his quote.


  8. Quite honestly, this does not surprise me in the least.

    I always held out a sincere hope that one day Mr. Kinkaide would make a great public announcement, proclaiming that his entire chain and demeanor were a gigantic charade. It would have been among the most elaborate post-modern art projects to date.

    Sadly, I can’t truly see this being the case.

  9. Honestly, Kinkade makes me sick. He is clearly a business man and not an artist. Part of being Christian is being consistent in your works and deeds, not just in the outward image you create. His standardized formula of fuzzy little cottages, dewey foliage, and small town pets thouroughly tire me. I wish for an international boycott of his work. Blast you Kinkade.

  10. Thomas Kinkade is our great american master! Nobody compares to him in the art world. He is also a great person who has helped World Visions, Make a Wish, Salvation Army, Points of Light ect. Give him credit for all the good he does. Some galleries lost money after 911 how do expect Thomas Kinkade to be responable for that? I think he will go down in history as the greatest artist of our time.

  11. Anonymous says:

    The company is the bully of the art world. A blight to the principles of his claim of being a Christian.
    The admitted claims of his personal misconduct suggest that he may be the “Pervert of Light”

  12. Anonymous says:

    After reading this I’m concerned. I bought “the garden of prayer ” in 1997 it is a S/P with all the certificates and signed etc. does anybody have any idea what it is worth today ,I know they said it will be go up dramticly over the years ?

  13. the luminescence of his paintings comes from snake oil.

  14. Anonymous says:

    I have an interest in the aquisition of an entire collection if anyone knows of the closing a store.
    I know that T K does great work. My mother is an artist. There is beauty in all types of work, and each has the freedom to like what he chooses. please contact me if you can help thanks!!

  15. As an artist if you have to resort to dragging God into your scheme of work then maybe you need to take a hard look at your art making.

  16. GalleryOwner0192 says:

    To anyone with some money invested in The Thomas Kinkade Company (or who may be considering it), you need to take a look at the links below. Craig A. Fleming, the CEO/President of the Thomas Kinkade Company, sent an e-mail full of lies to the gallery owners claiming that they successfully defended the lawsuit against them and that no judgment was issued. I came across the material below which proves his claims to be completely false!

    Article and Video: Kinkade Co. To Pay Nearly $3M To Couple –
    Thomas Kinkade Known As ‘The Painter Of Light’

    Court of Appeals Memorandum dated 6/16/2009

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