Painter Thomas Kinkade Dies

Westinghouse Lighting Corporation / AP Photo

A California artist who made a name for himself as “the Painter of Light” with his depictions of cottages and peaceful landscapes died in his Bay Area home Friday. Kinkade called himself America’s most-collected artist, and the sale of his paintings and other products is reported to generate a staggering $100 million a year in sales—although Kinkade was never a darling of the critical establishment. But that didn’t matter much to an artist who once told an interviewer that he would simply “really like to make people happy.”