Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Scott M. Contreras-Koterbay

Committee Members

Peter H. Pawlowicz, Vida J. Hull


Though prevalent in non-academic debate, the subject of Thomas Kinkade and his artwork is discernibly absent from the realm of academic discourse. This paper is an investigation into that condition and the circumstances for its perpetuation. Central to the issue is Kinkade's art theory and practice, which establishes his coexistence in both the art and business domains, creating inherent contradictions. Further explication is revealed through an evaluation of the contemporary criticism of four posthumously canonized artists: William Blake, Phillip Otto Runge, Vincent van Gogh, and Henri Rousseau. Consistencies among them correlate to the treatment of Thomas Kinkade, suggesting a common art historical methodology in operation. An evaluation of these findings generates alternative perspectives for considering his artwork and presents the possibility for relevant, engaging research into concerns well beyond its aesthetic merit.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.