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Catalog Data

Howard Finster, born Valley Head, AL 1916-died Rome, GA 2001  Search this
enamel on metal
20 x 24 x 1 3/8 in. (50.9 x 61.1 x 3.5 cm.)
Folk Art
Luce Center Label:
Howard Finster frequently incorporated found objects into his artworks. This piece is one such example. Using red enamel paint and bold lettering, the artist transcribed a verse from the Gospel of St. Luke on the lid of an old oven. The verse is taken from a story in the New Testament in which a paralyzed man was lowered by his friends through the roof of a house so that he could get close to Jesus. Moved by the faith of these men, Jesus cured the man of his paralysis. A reverend from Alabama, Finster believed he could spread his message to more people through his art than he could through his sermons.
Luce Object Quote:
"I asked God, 'Why is it I'm a garbage collector? Everything I have is junk.' He said, 'You don't have anything. I want the world to understand that you can make something out of what other people throw away.'" (The artist, quoted in John Turner and Judith Dunham, "Howard Finster: Man of Visions," in Folklife Annual, ed. Alan Jabbour and James Hardin, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress, 1985)
Religion\Christianity  Search this
Allegory\religion\salvation  Search this
Object\written matter  Search this
Credit Line:
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Chuck and Jan Rosenak and museum purchase through the Luisita L. and Franz H. Denghausen Endowment
Object number:
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
Smithsonian American Art Museum Collection
Painting and Sculpture
On View:
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Luce Foundation Center, 3rd Floor, 22B
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Luce Foundation Center
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Luce Foundation Center, 3rd Floor
Data Source:
Smithsonian American Art Museum