In an Odd Partnership, Sales of a Toilet-Paper Artwork by the Late Born-Again Artist Thomas Kinkade Will Benefit Shuttered NADA Galleries

The Kinkade Family Foundation is teaming up with NADA to deliver the aid.

Thomas Kinkade, Untitled (Toilet Paper) (circa 1978). Image courtesy of the Kinkade Family Foundation.

We are living in strange times indeed.

The New Art Dealers Alliance (NADA), the nonprofit that hosts cutting-edge art fairs for emerging artists and galleries around the US, is partnering with the Kinkade Family Foundation, the organization set up in 2012 by the heirs of the late Thomas Kinkade, the born-again Christian painter known for his kitschy, some might say saccharine, scenes of country homes and landscapes.

Starting today, the Kinkade Family Foundation will release prints based on a never-before-seen artwork by the artist, with the proceeds supporting NADA’s members galleries around the US. But this Kinkade work features not a cozy hearth at Christmastime, but a roll of toilet paper.

Locked away from public view for decades and stored in Thomas Kinkade’s hidden vault, this painting represents one of the most symbolic items of the COVID-19 crisis: the toilet paper roll,” explains a statement from the foundation.

Through the end of 2020, 100 percent of the net proceeds of the sale of Untitled (Toilet Paper) will be donated to NADA’s fund to support galleries most impacted by COVID-19. The application and guidelines will be released in the coming weeks.

“It was surprising when someone [from the foundation] reached out that way to want to help,” NADA executive director Heather Hubbs told Artnet News. “It’s an interesting moment to see what’s happening in the world.”

The Kinkade Foundation contacted NADA after it had penned an open letter to New York officials demanding financial relief for galleries shuttered by COVID-19. NADA has also spearheaded a relief petition for galleries and artists, which has garnered 28,000 signatories so far, and it has advocated for a Senate bill that would suspend rent for small businesses such as galleries.

NADA at Hudson Square in New York. Photo by Eileen Kinsella.

NADA at Hudson Square in New York. Photo by Eileen Kinsella.

Under the new partnership, three versions of Untitled (Toilet Paper) will be available for purchase on the Kinkade Foundation website: there’s a limited-edition of 100 print on stretched canvas that’s been hand highlighted by the artist’s daughter, Winsor Kinkade, which sells for $750; an open edition print for $150; and an open edition 100-piece puzzle, for $45.

“We are grateful for NADA’s generosity towards the emerging galleries and artists who are the heartbeat of the art world and who are facing economic challenges during this unprecedented period,” said a statement from the Kinkade Family Foundation, which is run by the artist’s widow, Nanette, and her four daughters. “This is what our father would have wanted, and through this, we hope to shed a positive light during this time of uncertainty.”

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