Kinkade's Art Firm Loses Court Battle
'Painter of light' must pay two 'duped' gallery owners $2.1M
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 18, 2009 7:31 AM CDT
"Christmas in New York" by Thomas Kinkade.   (PRNewsFoto/The Thomas Kinkade Company)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Hugely popular painter Thomas Kinkade claims God is his art agent, but a federal appeals court has ruled against his company for putting art gallery owners through financial hell, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The plaintiffs accused Kinkade and his firm of exploiting their Christian faith to lure them into a scheme that made profits for the painter while draining their life's savings.

The gallery owners say Kinkade and other execs hoodwinked them and many others into investing in the company without telling them they would have to sell Kinkade's artworks at minimum price—and then undercut them with discount sales in an effort to lower the value of the artist's publicly traded firm before he took it private. The appeals panel, overturning an earlier decision, awarded the two gallery owners $2.1 million.