Frequently Asked Questions
If TKCo says that An Evening Out and Boating Day are “Sold Out”, can I still buy them through you? Will TKCo get these limited edition prints in stock in future?
An Evening Out and Boating Day are each available, and are not sold out. Both may be ordered through TKCo or directly from girrard.com. If it has been indicated at any time that they were “Sold Out”, this would not have been accurate.
Can collectors or galleries order An Evening Out, Boating Day and Paris Snowfall through TKCo? If they can, how long have they been available to collectors and galleries?
Yes. An Evening Out, Boating Day and Paris Snowfall are, and have been, available for order through TKCo, both by collectors and galleries, from September 2001 to the present. They may also be ordered from girrard.com.
In May 2014, I saw 3 websites offering hundreds of Thomas Kinkade image copies for as little as $25. Is Girrard.com or The Thomas Kinkade Company affiliated with these websites?
Girrard.com actively has its Girrard Collection images removed from these websites. It has no relationship with them. In March 2014, and again in April 2014, Girrard.com wrote Robert Murray, Vice President, Secretary and General Counsel, The Thomas Kinkade Company (TKCo), asking if TKCo is affiliated with the websites. He did not respond. Hundreds of Kinkade images remain on the websites.
Who is ‘Robert Girrard'?
‘Robert Girrard' is a brush name of Thomas Kinkade, the Painter of Light™ *.
Is there an artist named ‘Robert Girrard'?
Other than Thomas Kinkade painting under the brush name ‘Robert Girrard', if there is an artist with the name ‘Robert Girrard' we are not aware of it.
When was the ‘Robert Girrard' brush name created?
The ‘Girrard' brush name was created in the summer of 1984.
Why did Thomas Kinkade decide to paint under a brush name?
In the early 1980's Thomas Kinkade was building a national reputation for his landscape paintings. Thom often referred to his style as ‘Romantic Realism' or ‘Academic Realism'. His landscape work was popular. By 1984 many collectors had purchased Thomas Kinkade's original paintings through the Jones Gallery in La Jolla and the Biltmore Gallery in Los Angeles . Still, Thom had a growing desire to use a broader palette than his western landscape themes afforded. He also loved the paint technique(s) of the French impressionists and desired to work in that style as well. Additionally, he found the romantic imagery of late 19th century Europe artistically appealing. For these reasons Thom decided to paint impressionistic work. He believed a brush name would be less confusing to collectors of his romantic landscapes. Consequently, artist ‘Robert Girrard' was created.
How was the name ‘Robert Girrard' selected?
The brush name ‘Robert Girrard' was selected through a collective effort of Thomas Kinkade, George Goff and their mutual friend, Terry Isbill. Thom wanted something ‘French sounding' to compliment the style and subject matter. George felt the name should not be too French, as the intent was to acknowledge that the ‘artist' was an American impressionist. Terry suggested the name ‘Robert' as a first name, which was the first name of his grandfather who had recently passed away. Thom suggested the name ‘Girrard'. Everyone thought ‘Robert' and ‘Girrard' worked well together and, thus, the name ‘Robert Girrard' was born.
Where was the name ‘Robert Girrard' created?
The name was created in Thomas Kinkade's then home on Wallace Road in Placerville , CA , during one conversation between Thomas Kinkade, George Goff and Terry Isbill.
For how long a period did Thomas Kinkade paint under the ‘Girrard' brush name?
Thomas Kinkade painted under the ‘Girrard' brush name from 1984 to 1990.
Did Thomas Kinkade paint ‘Thomas Kinkade' works during the period that he was painting under the ‘Robert Girrard' brush name?
How many ‘Robert Girrard' paintings did Thomas Kinkade paint?
To the best of our knowledge, Thomas Kinkade created 71 original Girrard works, including 69 oil paintings and two pencil drawings.
In the Spring 2002 edition of ‘The Beacon' *, there was an article about the ‘Robert Girrard' Collection which referred to it as a ‘collection of masterpieces' and ‘very rare' artworks. Who owns the ‘Robert Girrard' Collection and what is it worth?
The Thomas Kinkade Company, formerly Media Arts Group, Inc. *, owns the publishing rights to the ‘Robert Girrard' Collection with the
exception of ‘An Evening Out', ‘Boating Day' and ‘Paris Snowfall'. We do not know what value The Thomas Kinkade Company has placed on these rights, but we do know that their value is substantial. Most original ‘Girrard' artworks remain in the hands of private collectors and, collectively, are worth millions of dollars.
In March of 2002 on QVC *, Thomas Kinkade said that a great hunt was being conducted for his ‘Robert Girrard' images. How successful has that hunt been? Have very many ‘Girrard' images been found?
The search for Kinkade ‘Robert Girrard' works has been successful. By June, 2003, a large majority of original Kinkade ‘Girrard' works had been located and professionally photographed for use by The Thomas Kinkade Company, then ‘Media Arts Group, Inc.'. Still, a hunt continues for the ‘Girrards' not yet located.
The three Thomas Kinkade images in ‘The French Impressionist Collection' published by Media Arts Group, Inc. are shown on thomaskinkade.com as a part of ‘The Robert Girrard Collection'. What is the connection between these three works and the ‘Robert Girrard' works?
The three images in ‘The French Impressionist Collection' (FIC), ‘Sunday Afternoon', ‘Radiant Surf' and ‘Silver and Gold', were originally ‘Robert Girrard' paintings created by Thomas Kinkade. In the latter part of 2000, Media Arts Group, Inc. released editions of these three images as part of a special program exclusive to Kinkade Signature Galleries. At the time ‘The French Impressionist Collection' was released, Media Arts Group, Inc. had not disclosed the existence of Thomas Kinkade's ‘Robert Girrard' works. As a prelude to publishing ‘The French Impressionist Collection', various alterations were made to the FIC images. The artist's name on the published images was changed from ‘Girrard', the name on the original paintings, to ‘Thomas Kinkade'. Additionally, the name given to one of the FIC images was changed, and at least one FIC painting had minor modifications to its image, including hiding several letter ‘N's', placing some distant birds in the sky and reworking a small face in the midground of the image.
Why were ‘Sunday Afternoon', ‘Radiant Surf' and ‘Silver and Gold' the three Girrard images chosen for ‘The French Impressionist Collection'?
Most of Thom's ‘Robert Girrard'
images were successful original paintings and sold well at Cottage Gallery. However, a handful of original ‘Girrard' paintings were returned to Thomas Kinkade or otherwise found their way back to him. ‘Sunday Afternoon', ‘Point Lobos' (renamed ‘Radiant Surf' for the FIC) and ‘Silver and Gold' were three of those paintings. Consequently, these three ‘Girrard' paintings were available for use when ‘The French Impressionist Collection' was being planned.
Are Thomas Kinkade's ‘Robert Girrard' paintings plein air works or studio works?
Approximately 85% of Thom's ‘Robert Girrard' paintings are studio works. The remaining works are plein air pieces and two pencil sketches.
I saw the three Girrard images that comprise ‘The French Impressionist Collection' in the Plein Air section of the Thomas Kinkade website. Are those three Girrard images plein air works?
No. ‘Sunday Afternoon', ‘Radiant Surf' and ‘Silver and Gold' are studio works, not plein air works.
What effect, if any, does publishing the ‘Robert Girrard' Collection have on the value of the original Kinkade ‘Girrard' paintings and drawings?
Assuming proper quality and attention to detail in the design, publishing and marketing efforts, the effect is positive. An unknown work of art has relatively little value. When a desirable piece of artwork gains exposure more people become potential buyers for that artwork and the value of the work can be expected to increase. A benefit for any ‘Girrard' painting published by The Thomas Kinkade Company is that the image is automatically authenticated and gains recognition in the marketplace.
Experts are in agreement that artwork created by a celebrity (like Thomas Kinkade) will have more value than artwork of the same quality created and marketed under an unknown name (like ‘Robert Girrard'). Consequently, linking the ‘Girrard' works to their famous creator, Thomas Kinkade, is important for their value.
If a person owns an original work of art that they believe may be a Thomas Kinkade ‘Girrard' how can they determine if it is authentic?
The owner may e-mail photos of the image to girrard.com, along with all of the information they have about the work. A preliminary letter of opinion, pending actual review of the original work of art, will be provided. The photograph(s) should be of good quality. A photograph of the entire image as well as close ups, including the signature area, are helpful.
What is Cottage Gallery?
Cottage Gallery was the name of the originals gallery George Goff and his wife opened in Carmel , California in November of 1984. When the gallery opened it prominently featured the original paintings of Thomas Kinkade and ‘Robert Girrard'. Cottage Gallery is the only gallery through which Thomas Kinkade sold original ‘Robert Girrard' paintings. Cottage Gallery's physical location in Carmel closed in 2001. George Goff and his wife continue to work as private art dealers under the name Cottage Gallery.
Where did the name ‘Cottage Gallery' come from?
The name for the gallery was suggested by Thomas Kinkade. Thom thought it appropriate because of the many quaint cottages in the Carmel area and because the building the gallery was located in had a ‘cottage look and feel' about it. Interestingly, Thom suggested this name prior to the time he began to paint cottage scenes and became identified with cottage themed subject matter.
What is the ‘First Cottage'?
The ‘First Cottage' is the name given to the cottage Thomas Kinkade drew for Cottage Gallery at Carmel . Thom drew the ‘First Cottage' so that it could be used as the logo for the gallery. Cottage Gallery's hand carved sign, stationary, business and price cards, advertisements, sales records, consignment sheets and other materials all featured the cottage image that Thom drew. Thom's inspiration for the “First Cottage' was an image found in an old book that he and George bought at a used bookstore in San Francisco . To the best of George's knowledge, the cottage Thom drew for Cottage Gallery in 1984 is the ‘first' cottage image he created as a professional artist.
When were the fine art prints of ‘An Evening Out' and ‘Boating Day' signed with the name ‘Thomas Kinkade'?
When these prints were first released in 1989 they bore only Thom's original ‘Girrard' signature and their purchasers had no knowledge they were buying art created by Thomas Kinkade under a brush name. It was not until December of 2001, after it had become more broadly known that ‘Robert Girrard' is Thomas Kinkade, that Thomas Kinkade went to Sacramento, California, where the prints had been stored for many years, to resign them, adding the Thomas Kinkade signature.
Aside from the beauty of the images, what makes ‘An Evening Out' and ‘Boating Day' rare and collectible?
Several things set these two prints apart from any other Kinkade prints. First, these are believed to be the smallest print editions of any Thomas Kinkade studio works. There are only 490 prints in each edition. Second, unlike most Thomas Kinkade print editions and the Kinkade ‘Girrard' print editions published by The Thomas Kinkade Company, there is no reservation of a right to publish future additional editions of these images, unaltered and in their entirety. There can never be more prints of ‘An Evening Out' and ‘Boating Day' than there are now. Third, at a point near the end of Thom's ‘Girrard' period when most Kinkade ‘Girrard' images had already been created, these are the two images Thom personally selected to be the first ‘Girrards' published as limited edition fine art prints. Fourth, these are the only Thomas Kinkade print editions in existence that have both Thom's original Kinkade signature and original ‘Girrard' signature. Fifth, these are the only Thomas Kinkade prints in existence that have the First Cottage blind embossed in the print border. Sixth, they are Kinkade ‘Girrards'. This makes them special because of the limited number of ‘Girrard' images. These editions are printed on beautiful, heavy, archival art paper. They are true collector's pieces.
What makes ‘Paris Snowfall' a uniquely collectible print edition?
‘Paris Snowfall' is exceptionally beautiful. Created by Thomas Kinkade in 1989, ‘Paris Snowfall' was selected by Thomas Kinkade and George Goff to be the third Kinkade ‘Girrard' image their art publishing company, Cottage Editions, Ltd., was to publish. After Thom left Cottage Editions in 1990, the Goffs waited until 2001 to publish ‘Paris Snowfall' as a Giclée on canvas in three sizes. ‘Paris Snowfall' may be the only Kinkade print in existence that is not available on paper. While ‘Paris Snowfall' is not as small an edition as ‘An Evening Out' and ‘Boating Day', it is also truly limited.
There can be no further editions of the full ‘Paris Snowfall' image, nor can the unaltered image, in its entirety, be licensed for use on three dimensional products. Each ‘Paris Snowfall' print bears digitized Girrard and Kinkade signatures.
How were the ‘Robert Girrard' Kinkade original paintings priced in comparison to the original paintings Thom released under the name Thomas Kinkade?
In 1984, when Cottage Gallery opened, Thom priced an original 24x30 Thomas Kinkade painting at $2000 and an original 24x30 ‘Robert Girrard' painting at $1800. This was a tiny difference considering that Thomas Kinkade had established significant recognition for the ‘Kinkade' name and was actively promoting ‘Thomas Kinkade' the artist. On the other hand ‘Robert Girrard' was an unknown. ‘Girrard' could not attend shows or other promotional events in his own behalf to build his reputation. Thom remarked at one point that he thought it would be fun to do a one man show for ‘Robert Girrard' at Cottage Gallery, and that he (Thom) would appear in disguise at the show as artist ‘Robert Girrard'. However, such an event never occurred. After the introduction of the first ‘Robert Girrard' works in 1984, Thomas Kinkade steadily increased ‘Girrard' prices. In 1987 a 26x40 Kinkade ‘Girrard' canvas sold for more in March of that year than a 26x40 Thomas Kinkade canvas sold for in April of that same year. In 1989 a 24x30 Kinkade ‘Girrard' canvas sold at Cottage Gallery for $7500. The most expensive Thomas Kinkade painting sold at Cottage Gallery during the ‘Girrard' era was a Kinkade ‘Girrard' piece which sold for more than $14,000 in 1989. During Kinkade's ‘Girrard' era, the collectors who purchased ‘Girrard' originals at Cottage Gallery did not know they were buying a Thomas Kinkade painting. From their perspective, they were buying beautiful work by an unknown artist. The most expensive Thomas Kinkade painting ever sold by Cottage Gallery in Carmel was the resale of a 12x16 ‘Girrard' plein air piece. This painting sold in 2001 to a collector who knew that he was purchasing a painting by Thomas Kinkade.
How well did the ‘Robert Girrard' Kinkade paintings sell at Cottage Gallery in comparison to the ‘Thomas Kinkade' paintings?
Both the ‘Thomas Kinkade' signed canvases and the ‘Robert Girrard' signed canvases sold well. When Thomas Kinkade's ‘Kinkade' paintings and ‘Girrard' paintings were both well supplied to Cottage Gallery they were the top ‘two' selling artists in the gallery. Which ‘name' sold better was largely dependent on which had more paintings in the gallery at any given time. Eventually, more Kinkade ‘Girrard' paintings were sold at Cottage Gallery than Kinkade ‘Kinkade' paintings due to the fact that the gallery received more Kinkade ‘Girrard' paintings to sell. An interesting story deals with the fact that a prominent art publisher visited Cottage Gallery in the mid 1980's, looking for art to publish. Both Kinkade ‘Kinkades' and Kinkade ‘Girrards' were on display. The publisher inquired about the Kinkade ‘Girrards', but not the Kinkade ‘Kinkades'. Eventually, the publisher published eight Kinkade ‘Girrard' images, not knowing they were the work of Thomas Kinkade. The images were highly successful and were reprinted several times. In 2003 this publisher learned for the first time, and much to his amazement, that ‘Robert Girrard' is, in fact, Thomas Kinkade.
‘An Evening Out' and ‘Boating Day' were published by Thomas Kinkade and George Goff in 1989 in very small editions. Why does George Goff still have ‘An Evening Out' and ‘Boating Day' prints for sale?
It is true that ‘An Evening Out' and ‘Boating Day' were published by Goff and Kinkade in tiny editions by Thomas Kinkade edition size standards. In fact, it is believed these two editions are the smallest in existence of any Thomas Kinkade studio works. The reason these editions are available today is because they were not marketed for more than ten years. ‘An Evening Out' and ‘Boating Day' were published in 1989. Thomas Kinkade stopped painting Girrard paintings in early 1990. Shortly thereafter most of these prints were put away for safe keeping.
Is there going to be a book on Thomas Kinkade's ‘Robert Girrard' paintings?
We hope there will be a book on the ‘Robert Girrard' period and ‘Girrard' body of works. Thomas Kinkade has expressed interest in doing such a book. If and when the book will be published is up to Thom.
Originally, who knew that ‘Robert Girrard' was actually Thomas Kinkade?
Originally, six people knew that Thomas Kinkade was painting work under the brush name ‘Robert Girrard': Thomas Kinkade, George Goff and Terry Isbill, and their wives.
Why did Thomas Kinkade stop painting under the brush name ‘Robert Girrard'?
Thomas Kinkade stopped painting under the brush name ‘Robert Girrard' in early 1990 at about the same time he entered into a business relationship with Ken Raasch to publish Thomas Kinkade works under an entity called Lightpost Publishing Company. Thom and Ken planned substantial promotion of the Kinkade name and Thom told George that the business venture with Ken Raasch would not leave him time to continue to paint ‘Girrard' canvases.
From an artistic standpoint, where does the ‘Robert Girrard' period fit in the painting career of Thomas Kinkade?
Broadly speaking, Thomas Kinkade's career can be divided into three segments, his Romantic Realism period, the ‘Girrard' period, and the Painter of Light period. The ‘Girrard' period, 1984 to 1990, overlaps the preceding Romantic Realism years and provides a transitional period into the third segment of Thom's career. In each career segment Thom has recognized the importance of color and the suggestion of ‘light' in a painting, but these intertwined qualities, color and light, have been handled differently in each career segment . In the Romantic Realism years Thom's emphasis was on original paintings, wilderness and western landscape subject matter, a painting style derivative of the Hudson River School , and the suggestion of light in a convincing and natural manner. In these paintings, the light source was often the sun, the moon or perhaps a trapper's or Indian's campfire. A recurrent theme in the Romantic Realism years was to show the smallness of man in comparison to the vastness of creation, or to simply eulogize the beauty of nature. In Thom's ‘Girrard' period, his subject matter broadened to include European landscapes, coastal resorts, bustling city scenes, quaint gardens, light filled homes, and the grand landscape subject matter was generally left behind. During the ‘Girrard' period romantic gas lanterns and street lamps, as well as discreet light from shop windows and homes, were added to the natural light sources used in the earlier romantic landscape works. The ‘Girrard' period exerted an influence on the romantic realism work Thom continued to paint in the ‘Girrard' years under the Kinkade name. Many ‘Kinkade' landscapes became less western in feeling and more intimate in scope. Wild gardens in mist shrouded glens began to emerge and earth tones gave way to more vibrant colors. Thom's Girrard signed paintings were crafted with love and reflect the joy Thom felt in being able to paint in a slightly more impressionistic style. In the third segment of Thom's career, sometimes referred to as the “Painter of Light” period, commercialism began to play a larger role. Also, it was during this period that collaborative artwork began to emerge, that is, the creation of new imagery with the assistance of other artists and computers.
Where can other Kinkade ‘Girrard' images not shown on girrard.com be seen?
Several other Thomas Kinkade ‘Girrard' images are available at the Thomas Kinkade website.
* ‘Painter of Light' is a registered trademark of The Thomas Kinkade Company.
* In 2002 ‘The Beacon' was a publication of Media Arts Group, Inc., distributed on a quarterly basis to members of the Thomas Kinkade Collector's Society.
* Media Arts Group, Inc. was a publicly owned company, trading on the New York Stock Exchange until January 29, 2004 , on which date Thomas Kinkade and his affiliates purchased the company. Subsequently, the now privately owned company changed its name from Media Arts Group, Inc. to The Thomas Kinkade Company.
* A national home shopping television channel available through cable and satellite television providers.