Born in 1941, in Lawrence, Kansas, Thomas McKnight grew up in the suburbs of Montreal, New York City and Washington, D.C. After receiving his Bachelor's Degree from Wesleyan University (where he spent his junior year studying in Paris), McKnight entered Columbia University graduate school in the art history department, but left after one year to work at Time Magazine in New York City.
In 1972, McKnight made two major changes in his life; he ended his career with Time Magazine and took up painting full-time. His first two shows, one in Washington, D.C. and one in New York were mildly successful. However, it was his success in West Germany, which provided McKnight with the opportunity to travel to the Mediterranean to paint. It was on a trip to Mykonos in 1979 that McKnight met his future wife, Renate.
Since deciding to devote himself to painting full time in 1972, McKnight's work has been exhibited in over 250 one-man shows throughout the United States, Europe and Japan, and has appeared everywhere from the cover of Reader's Digest to pages of Japanese calendars in Southern China. McKnight's private, public, corporate and museum collections are numerous, and his prints have appeared in numerous movies and television shows including Beverly Hills 90210 and When Harry Met Sally.
In 1988, Mknight's Constitution was chosen as the official image of the U.S. Constitution Bicentennial. In fact, Constitution was one of the only three artworks, which First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton chose to bring to Washington from Little Rock when President Clinton was elected. Longtime McKnight fans, the Clintons asked the artist to create an image for the presidential Christmas card for an unprecedented three times, in 1994, 1995 and again in 1996. His warm home and hearth renderings of the White House Red Room, Blue Room and Green Room have now appeared on over half a million cards sent out worldwide from the White House.
Be it a sun drenched street in Greece, a mythological scene or a porch in Palm Beach, 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," says McKnight. "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."