published Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

World-famous painters include... Thomas Kinkade?

If you set out to make a list of world-famous painters, who would you remember?

Would you think of Cezanne, Chagall, Durer, Gauguin, Monet, Matisse, Raphael, Titian, Van Gogh, or Warhol -- or others -- depending very much upon your personal taste, memory, or some other reason?

Would you think of Thomas Kinkade?

The 54-year-old painter who died Friday might not immediately come to your mind in making a list of artists. But he was certainly popular.

Look around, and you may have a print of one of his works hanging near you. Kinkade is estimated to have one of his many works hanging in one of every 20 homes in the United States!

The cost of his original paintings was said to have ranged from just a few hundred dollars to more than $10,000.

But his Media Art Group reportedly drew in as much as $128 million a year through 4,500 dealers.

Artist Kinkade commendably was a philanthropist, who helped raise millions of dollars that went to varied non-profit organizations, including many museums -- and the Salvation Army.

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