The big eyes are everywhere. Walk into Margaret Keane’s modest craftsman home in Napa Valley, Calif., and forlorn children with outsize peepers stare up at you from every angle. These whimsical kids are the trademark of Keane’s paintings, which, in the 1960s, filled the aisles of Walgreens and Woolworths, where they sold by the truckloads and brought in an estimated $4 million. Her paintings were so popular that celebrities including Joan Crawford, Kim Novak, Natalie Wood, and Jerry Lewis all sat for portraits. Today, they line the walls of the soft-spoken 87-year-old artist’s living room, adorn the labels of bottles of wine in her home, and make up a collage that covers her coffee table. They are her, she is them.
And for most her career, no one knew she had painted them. READ FULL STORY