Interesting  Facts About Margaret Keane

7th May, 2024

Keane's art style, characterized by oversized, compelling eyes, emerged in the 1950s as a form of expression reflecting emotional undercurrents, inspired by her own experiences and emotions, particularly feelings of vulnerability and observation.

For a significant part of her career, Margaret Keane’s artwork was sold under the name of her husband, Walter Keane. Walter publicly claimed the artwork as his own during the 1950s and 1960s, a deception that Margaret went along with due to her shy nature and manipulation by her husband.

Margaret Keane's struggle to reclaim her work culminated in a sensational court trial in 1986. During the trial, to prove authorship, she created a painting in the courtroom, demonstrating her unique ability to paint big eyes, whereas her ex-husband declined to paint due to a purported shoulder injury. The judge ruled in her favor, affirming her as the true creator of the paintings.

Her art, particularly during the height of its popularity in the mid-20th century, was beloved by many celebrities. Famous collectors of Keane's work include actors Tim Burton, Joan Crawford, and Natalie Wood.

Margaret Keane’s life and art were the subject of the 2014 film "Big Eyes," directed by Tim Burton, a longtime admirer of her work. The film starred Amy Adams as Margaret and Christoph Waltz as Walter, bringing her tumultuous life story and artistic battle to a wider audience.

Margaret Keane's paintings have been exhibited around the world, including shows in museums and galleries across the United States, Asia, and Europe. Her unique style has also influenced a range of artists and spawned imitators, contributing to a distinct subgenre of pop art.

Margaret, born in 1927 in Nashville, Tennessee, was a talented painter with a strong Christian faith. Her resilience and transformation into an icon of empowerment for artists, particularly women, add depth to her legacy.