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Howard Finster


Howard  Finster

CBS Sunday Morning News: "Outsider Art" at Philadelphia Museum of Art


1917-2001 Summerville, Georgia

Howard Finster is widely considered to be the grandfather of contemporary American folk art. The youngest of thirteen children, Finster began preaching as a teenager in rural Alabama -- but it was not until 1976, at the age of 60, that he saw a dab of paint on his finger become a face which commanded him to "make sacred art." He spent the last 25 years of his life, until his death in 2001 at age 84, painstakingly creating Paradise Garden at his home in Summerville, Georgia. Paradise Garden, which he said was "commissioned from God," was a lush, modern-day version of the Garden of Eden, a rendering of his fantastic visionary world. Finster created and numbered more than 50,000 pieces of original art which combine images and text, and which feature such icons as Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, and George Washington. All of his works were a part of his crusade to save the world before it was too late. Finster's ability to spread his views was indeed impressive: he appeared on the Tonight Show wtih Johnny Carson; his artwork decorates album covers of popular rock groups such as R.E.M. and the Talking Heads; and thousands of tourists make the pilgrimage to Paradise Garden every year.

Below is Finster‘s own best epitaph:
"I am Howard Finster, a stranger from another world. My father and mother, my sisters and brother, my wife, my children, my grandchildren have really never figured me out. For my kingdom is not of this world. Only my Father in heaven knows me on this planet. And that‘s why I have been strong and happy. When my work is finished I will go back to the other world.”

View a video about Howard Finster


Curriculum Vitae
Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art,Santa Barbara, CA, 2014 Skywall Level, Gallery 415, Atlanta, GA, 2014
Skot Foreman Gallery, San Miguel de Allede, Mexico, 2013
The Dogwood Art Gallery,Tallapoosa, GA, 2013
Telfair Museum of Art's Jepson Center for the Arts, Savannah, GA June 29 through August 19, 2012
Rome Area History Museum, Rome, GA, 2012
Akron Art Museum, Akron, OH February 18 through June 3, 2012
Tennessee State Museum, Nashville, TN November 10, 2011 through January 15, 2012
the Tennessee State Museum, Nashville, TN, 2011
Museum of Contemporary Art, Jacksonville, FL, April 22 through August 28, 2011
Hartsfield-Jackson Airport, Atlanta, GA, April 20, 2011 - January 23, 2013
Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art, Auburn University, Auburn, AL December 11, 2010 to March 12, 2011
Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago, IL July 24 through September 26, 2010
Krannert Art Museum and Kinkead Pavilion January 29 through March 28, 2010
Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, NY, NY, 2009
New Museum, September 22, 1982 NY,NY



Associated News

May 23, 2014
World of Coca-Cola to host Howard Finster solo exhibition

Associated Exhibitions

Reverend Howard Finster's Wild Kingdom!
May 3 - June 30, 2013


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For a complete list of Purvis Young's work, please checkout

An important source for Contemporary American and European Post-War Art; Skot Foreman gallery inventory consists of paintings, works on paper, sculpture, and limited-edition prints by artists such as Salvador Dali, M.C. Escher, Keith Haring, Jean Michel Basquiat, Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, Howard Finster, Tom Wesselmann and Purvis Young (Estate)

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