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He was born in 1941 in Lawrence, Kansas.
After a year of graduate work in art history at Columbia University, in 1964 McKnight found a job at Time Magazine where he would work for eight years, interrupted by a two-year stint in the U. S. Army in South Korea.
In 1972 McKnight left Time, summered on the Greek island of Mykonos, and commenced painting in earnest. In 1979 in Mykonos, McKnight met Renate, a vacationing Austrian student, and married the following year.
Throughout the 1980s McKnight’s art, mainly limited edition serigraph prints, became increasingly popular.
In 1994 he was commissioned by the White House to paint the first of three images for President Clinton’s official Christmas card. One of these, "White House Red Room", was used as the cover of a Lands' End catalog, which sold both the art and the original as one of the Christmas gift items.
- https://www.nytimes.com/1995/12/24/nyregion/a-touch-of-litchfield-in-white-house-card.html New York Times retrieved 21st Jan 2010
- http://clinton1.nara.gov/White_House/EOP/First_Lady/html/McKnight-plain.html NARA.gov retrieved 21st Jan 2010
- New York Times retrieved 21st Jan 2010
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