"The images I make relate to a lifelong search for paradise, a land of harmony where the
sun shines on a sparkling blue sea. Sometimes the search is within and results in fantasy
realms whose landscape are strewn with classical architecture and mythological beings."
— Thomas Mcknight
Thomas McKnight’s paintings, serigraphs and posters, phenomenally popular with the public,
have placed him in an elite group of contemporary artists whose work can be instantly
recognizable as his own. Be it a carnival in Venice, a sundrenched street in Greece, a cozy
well furnished room, a tropical beach or a mythological scene, McKnight’s images invite you
to experience the unfettered joy of living.
"I try to integrate what is real about a place or thing with its underlying truth its
invisible soul," muses the artist. "In the process I try to create a symbolic reality that can
serve as a catalyst for emotions, nostalgia, joy, the sadness of time passing."
According to noted New York Times critic Gene Thornton, McKnight's work presents "visions of
earthly happiness that are almost celestial. It is the vision of earthly paradise that exists
in the here and now. Thomas McKnight's pictures remind us of how good life can be in those rare
moments when all is well in the world."
Born in 1941 in Lawrence, Kansas, Thomas McKnight grew up in suburbs of Montreal, New York City
and Washington, D.C. After receiving his Bachelor's Degree from Wesleyan University, he studied
art history at Columbia University. He then served in Korea with the army for two years, and later
worked for Time Magazine.
Since deciding to devote himself to painting full time in 1972, McKnight’s work has been
exhibited in over two hundred and fifty one man shows through out the United States, Europe and
Japan, and has appeared everywhere from the cover of Reader’s Digest to pages of Japanese
calendars to the walls of restaurants in southern China. His prints have appeared in numerous
movies and television shows including Beverly Hills 90210 and When Harry Met Sally. At a recent
Cannes Film Festival, actor director Robert Redford remarked that McKnight was his favorite artist.
McKnight's private, public, corporate and museum collections are too numerous to list here.
In 1988, McKnight’s Constitution was chosen as the official image of the U.S. Constitution
Bicentennial. In fact, Constitution was one of only three art works which First Lady Hillary
Rodham Clinton chose to bring to Washington from Little Rock when President Clinton was elected.
The serigraph hangs in the White House solarium which serves as the first family's living room.
Longtime McKnight fans, the Clintons asked the artist to create an image for the presidential
Christmas card in 1994 and again in 1995. His warm home and hearth renderings of the White House
Red Room and Blue Room at holiday time have now appeared on half a million cards sent out worldwide
from the White House.
Six books of McKnight’s art have been published (two in Japan) including the most recent Voyage
to Paradise. He was commissioned by Dennis Connor in 1992 to paint two images commemorating the
America's Cup races, and by the city of Kobe, Japan in 1993 to create a series of paintings to
serve as the centerpiece for the two year celebration of its tricentennial. After the devastating
earthquake which hit Kobe in 1995, McKnight created an earthquake relief poster.