Galleries that sell the work of Thomas Kinkade are reporting a surge in sales following the popular painter's death at age 54.

Outlets across the country say they're calling in extra help to handle unprecedented demand from customers placing orders in person, on the phone and online.

At Kinkade's original gallery in his hometown of Placerville, Calif., co-owner Nathan Ross says one Kinkade original sold over the weekend for $150,000.

John Vassallo, who owns five Kinkade galleries in New York and New Jersey, says sales on Saturday reached half his typical sales for the entire month of December.

Kinkade died Friday at his home in Los Gatos of what his family said was apparent natural causes. An autopsy was performed Monday, but results are being withheld pending further testing.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)