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Howard Finster, Man of Visions

20th century
Medium & Support
Enamel and sharpie on Wood Panel
Overall: 12 3/8 x 8 3/8 x 3 5/8 in.
Outsider Art
Object Type
Sculpture and Installations
Credit Line
Museum purchase
Accession Number
In Copyright
© Howard Finster / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Man in a red suit holding a religious text and standing on top of a tan block with writing on it.

Self-portrait of Howard Finster

Label History

Among the best known of the Outsider artists is Howard Finster (1916– 2001), who worked in Summerville, GA, from the 1960s through the 1990s and depicted religious imagery. He painted thousands of cutout boards, canvases, and furniture, all meant to further his religious message. Finster was also preaching from his studio, using it as a pulpit to communicate with the outside world, as illustrated in his self-portrait Howard Finster, Man of Visions, Finster and the artist Bessie Harvey (1929–1994) spoke to the visionary images that come from God and their personal (and specifically Southern) Christian faith. Finster repeated the story of working on a bicycle in his yard, when he looked at his finger and saw a face. He interpreted this as God’s way of instructing him to paint in order to bring people to God.

Exhibition Title: Asheville Art Museum: An Introduction to the Collection
Label Date: 2021
Type: Catalogue Entry
Written by: Andrew Glasgow

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