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Howard Finster Art

American, 1917-2001

Best known for his Paradise Garden, which he built in Pennville, Georgia, Howard Finster was a self-taught artist whose folksy brand of postmodern art strongly reflected the gregarious personality he was known for. Energetic and fantastical, Finster's paintings and prints come alive with spectacular detail and color. His work is crowded with text, Surrealist figures and miniature crosses, eyeballs, birds and stars.

A baptist minister by trade until his formal retirement in 1965, Finster spoke of an inspiration that came to him from on high. He experienced visions and claimed to hear the word of God in childhood, and often referred to himself as a “stranger from another world.” His visions led to a body of work he termed “sacred art,” a numbered series of thousands of paintings with strong religious overtones that took the form of text excerpts from the Bible and his own sermons. Finster painted portraits of Elvis Presley, James Dean and Abraham Lincoln, along with angels, devils, aliens and folklore figures like Santa Claus.

Prior to painting, Finster started constructing Paradise Garden, his most ambitious work, in the 1960s. A testament to human innovation and a tribute to God, this two-acre art environment consisted of varied recycled materials, concrete and sculptures. Its walls and walkways were embedded with TV tubes, bicycle parts and other found objects and scrap bits of metal sourced from Finster's repair business.

Finster began to exhibit his riveting folk art in 1976, when several of his pieces were included in “Missing Pieces: Georgia Folk Art, 1770-1976,” hosted at the Atlanta Historical Society and the Telfair Academy of Arts and Sciences in Savannah, among other institutions. The artist and his Paradise Garden were featured in the 1983 music video for American rock band R.E.M.'s song “Radio Free Europe.” Soon afterward, Finster was commissioned by another band, Talking Heads, to design the cover for the act’s Little Creatures album. Although he already had a fairly large local following, this exposure gave Finster's work national attention.

Finster died in 2001, leaving behind a legacy of what is now known as outsider art that could fill entire museums — more than 46,000 sculptures, paintings, prints and other works. The High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Georgia, holds the largest collection of Finster's work.

Find authentic Howard Finster paintings and other art on 1stDibs.

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Artist: Howard Finster
Albert Einstein
By Howard Finster
Located in New York, NY
Unique Hand-signed and dated "Howard Finster 1991" front and back Finster Archive #: "17.000.827"
Category

1990s Outsider Art Howard Finster Art

Materials

Enamel

This Flag
By Howard Finster
Located in New York, NY
Hand-signed "Howard Finster" in pencil lower right corner Limited-edition of 300 Pristine condition Provenance: from the artist
Category

1990s Pop Art Howard Finster Art

Materials

Screen, Archival Paper

Leonardo Da Vinci
By Howard Finster
Located in New York, NY
TIme stamp: Feb 14 1991 Hand-signed twice by the artist in marker (front and back) "#17,000 and 943" Unique painting
Category

1990s Outsider Art Howard Finster Art

Materials

Oil, Wood Panel, Permanent Marker

Elvis C'mon Everybody
By Howard Finster
Located in New York, NY
Unique Hand-signed "Howard Finster" lower left Finster Archive #: "38.000.543" Custom frame dimensions: 16.25" x 16.25" Provenance: owner Skot Foreman acquired this work directly f...
Category

1990s Contemporary Howard Finster Art

Materials

Permanent Marker, Found Objects

George Washington
By Howard Finster
Located in New York, NY
Unique Hand-signed "Howard Finster" twice in marker on both front and back Finster Archive #: "25.000.815"
Category

1990s Outsider Art Howard Finster Art

Materials

Wood, Acrylic, Permanent Marker

Guard Cat
By Howard Finster
Located in New York, NY
Unique Hand-signed "Howard Finster" front and back Provenance: Environmental painting which hung (covered) in Paradise Garden Summerville, GA Finster Archive #: "20.000.264"
Category

1990s Folk Art Howard Finster Art

Materials

Wood, Acrylic, Permanent Marker

Clock Box
By Howard Finster
Located in New York, NY
Carved wood UNIQUE Hand-signed "Howard Finster" verso
Category

1960s Outsider Art Howard Finster Art

Materials

Wood

The Rules of Sex
By Howard Finster
Located in New York, NY
Hand-signed screenprint Limited-edition of 300 Hand-signed "Howard Finster" lower right Provenance: Acquired directly from the artist
Category

1990s Outsider Art Howard Finster Art

Materials

Screen

City of Oblin
By Howard Finster
Located in New York, NY
Unique Hand-signed by the artist front and back Finster Archive #: "32.000.065" Framed dimensions: 16" high x 19" wide Provenance: acquired directly from the artist
Category

1990s Outsider Art Howard Finster Art

Materials

Acrylic, Wood Panel, Permanent Marker

Self-Portrait
By Howard Finster
Located in New York, NY
UNIQUE - excellent condition Hand-signed "Howard Finster" front and back Finster Archive #: "12.000.278" Provenance: acquired directly from the artist
Category

1980s Outsider Art Howard Finster Art

Materials

Wood, Acrylic, Permanent Marker

Youth of Elvis
By Howard Finster
Located in New York, NY
Hand-signed and dated with artist's hand-made frame. Very early rare and iconic painting. Finster archive #: '2,000 / 713'
Category

1980s Outsider Art Howard Finster Art

Materials

Enamel

Esiloe of Arkamanot
By Howard Finster
Located in New York, NY
A unique very early work Hand-signed in paint by the artist front and back Finster Archive #: "2.000.995"
Category

1980s Outsider Art Howard Finster Art

Materials

Enamel

Second Record Painting
By Howard Finster
Located in New York, NY
Tractor enamel and marker on vinyl album Unique Hand-signed "Howard Finster" front and "Howard" on back Finster Archive #: "34.000.521"
Category

1990s Outsider Art Howard Finster Art

Materials

Enamel

Marilyn Monroe Life Size
By Howard Finster
Located in New York, NY
Hand-signed and dated front and back Provenance: Phyllis Kind Gallery NY, NY
Category

1990s Outsider Art Howard Finster Art

Materials

Wood, Acrylic

Baby Doll
By Howard Finster
Located in New York, NY
Unique Hand-signed in marker "Howard Finster" lower right Finster Archive #: "17.000.626" Provenance: acquired directly from the artist
Category

1990s Contemporary Howard Finster Art

Materials

Wood, Acrylic, Permanent Marker

The Empty Road
By Howard Finster
Located in New York, NY
From the limited-edition of only 150 Hand-signed, titled and numbered in pencil lower margin Published by Mountain Lake Workshop, Christiansburg, VA In the permanent collection of Wh...
Category

1980s Folk Art Howard Finster Art

Materials

Archival Paper, Screen

Related Items
Self-Portrait
By Howard Finster
Located in New York, NY
UNIQUE - excellent condition Hand-signed "Howard Finster" front and back Finster Archive #: "12.000.278" Provenance: acquired directly from the artist
Category

1980s Outsider Art Howard Finster Art

Materials

Wood, Acrylic, Permanent Marker

City of Oblin
By Howard Finster
Located in New York, NY
Unique Hand-signed by the artist front and back Finster Archive #: "32.000.065" Framed dimensions: 16" high x 19" wide Provenance: acquired directly from the artist
Category

1990s Outsider Art Howard Finster Art

Materials

Acrylic, Wood Panel, Permanent Marker

Leonardo Da Vinci
By Howard Finster
Located in New York, NY
TIme stamp: Feb 14 1991 Hand-signed twice by the artist in marker (front and back) "#17,000 and 943" Unique painting
Category

1990s Outsider Art Howard Finster Art

Materials

Oil, Wood Panel, Permanent Marker

Second Record Painting
By Howard Finster
Located in New York, NY
Tractor enamel and marker on vinyl album Unique Hand-signed "Howard Finster" front and "Howard" on back Finster Archive #: "34.000.521"
Category

1990s Outsider Art Howard Finster Art

Materials

Enamel

Baby Doll
By Howard Finster
Located in New York, NY
Unique Hand-signed in marker "Howard Finster" lower right Finster Archive #: "17.000.626" Provenance: acquired directly from the artist
Category

1990s Contemporary Howard Finster Art

Materials

Wood, Acrylic, Permanent Marker

  • Baby Doll
  • Baby Doll
  • Baby Doll
  • Baby Doll
H 10.25 in. W 6.75 in. D 3 in.
Youth of Elvis
By Howard Finster
Located in New York, NY
Hand-signed and dated with artist's hand-made frame. Very early rare and iconic painting. Finster archive #: '2,000 / 713'
Category

1980s Outsider Art Howard Finster Art

Materials

Enamel

George Washington
By Howard Finster
Located in New York, NY
Unique Hand-signed "Howard Finster" twice in marker on both front and back Finster Archive #: "25.000.815"
Category

1990s Outsider Art Howard Finster Art

Materials

Wood, Acrylic, Permanent Marker

Esiloe of Arkamanot
By Howard Finster
Located in New York, NY
A unique very early work Hand-signed in paint by the artist front and back Finster Archive #: "2.000.995"
Category

1980s Outsider Art Howard Finster Art

Materials

Enamel

Guard Cat
By Howard Finster
Located in New York, NY
Unique Hand-signed "Howard Finster" front and back Provenance: Environmental painting which hung (covered) in Paradise Garden Summerville, GA Finster Archive #: "20.000.264"
Category

1990s Folk Art Howard Finster Art

Materials

Wood, Acrylic, Permanent Marker

Marilyn Monroe Life Size
By Howard Finster
Located in New York, NY
Hand-signed and dated front and back Provenance: Phyllis Kind Gallery NY, NY
Category

1990s Outsider Art Howard Finster Art

Materials

Wood, Acrylic

The Rules of Sex
By Howard Finster
Located in New York, NY
Hand-signed screenprint Limited-edition of 300 Hand-signed "Howard Finster" lower right Provenance: Acquired directly from the artist
Category

1990s Outsider Art Howard Finster Art

Materials

Screen

Clock Box
By Howard Finster
Located in New York, NY
Carved wood UNIQUE Hand-signed "Howard Finster" verso
Category

1960s Outsider Art Howard Finster Art

Materials

Wood

  • Clock Box
  • Clock Box
  • Clock Box
  • Clock Box
H 26 in. W 15.5 in. D 4.5 in.
Previously Available Items
Howard Finster "Heavens of Olika" Folk Art Painting 1996
By Howard Finster
Located in San Francisco, CA
Howard Finster "Heavens of Olika" Folk Art Painting 1996 Oil on board. Dimensions 11" x 20". The frame measures 13.75" x 22.5". Signed and dated by the artist. Very good vintage c...
Category

Late 20th Century Folk Art Howard Finster Art

Materials

Acrylic, Board

Folk Art Angel
By Howard Finster
Located in Buffalo, NY
You are viewing a fantastic one of a kind hand carved hand painted wooden sculpture by listed American Folk Artist Howard Finster! For forty years, Howard Finster was a minister. A...
Category

1990s Howard Finster Art

Materials

Wood, Acrylic

  • Folk Art Angel
  • Folk Art Angel
  • Folk Art Angel
  • Folk Art Angel
H 15 in. W 9 in. D 4 in.
Elephant
By Howard Finster
Located in Buffalo, NY
You are viewing a fantastic one of a kind hand carved hand painted wooden sculpture by listed American Folk Artist Howard Finster! For forty years, Howard Finster was a minister. ...
Category

1990s Howard Finster Art

Materials

Acrylic, Wood

  • Elephant
  • Elephant
  • Elephant
  • Elephant
H 15 in. W 9 in. D 4 in.
Angel's Paradise
By Howard Finster
Located in Miami, FL
This is one of Finster early and more desirable works. Work is Signed lower right, Howard Finster
Category

1980s Outsider Art Howard Finster Art

Materials

Oil

A House Divided
By Howard Finster
Located in New York, NY
Limited edition hand-signed "Howard Finster" in black marker lower right
Category

1980s Outsider Art Howard Finster Art

Materials

Lithograph

Story Map of the United States
By Howard Finster
Located in New York, NY
Hand-signed "Howard Finster" in the lower right margin Sponsored by Coca Cola at the High Museum of Art, ATL
Category

1990s Outsider Art Howard Finster Art

Materials

Lithograph

Howard Finster art for sale on 1stDibs

1stDibs offers a wide variety of authentic Howard Finster art available for sale. If you are looking for art to add a pop of color to a neutral corner of your living room or bedroom, you can find work that includes elements of blue, orange and other colors. You can also browse by medium to find Howard Finster's art in pen, permanent marker, paint and more. Much of the original work by this artist or collective was created during the 20th Century and is mostly associated with the Contemporary style. Not every interior allows for large Howard Finster art, so small editions measuring 6.75 inches across are available. Those interested in this artist might also find the work of Elias Telles, Robert Sellers and Ross Bonfanti. On 1stDibs, the price for these items starts at $NaN and tops out at $NaN, while the average work can sell for $NaN.

Artists Similar to Howard Finster

Recent Sales

Howard Finster "Heavens of Olika" Folk Art Painting 1996
By Howard Finster
Located in San Francisco, CA
Howard Finster "Heavens of Olika" Folk Art Painting 1996 Oil on board. Dimensions 11" x 20". The frame measures 13.75" x 22.5". Signed and dated by the artist. Very good vintage c...
Category

Late 20th Century Folk Art Howard Finster Art

Materials

Acrylic, Board

Folk Art Angel
By Howard Finster
Located in Buffalo, NY
You are viewing a fantastic one of a kind hand carved hand painted wooden sculpture by listed American Folk Artist Howard Finster! For forty years, Howard Finster was a minister. A...
Category

1990s Howard Finster Art

Materials

Wood, Acrylic

  • Folk Art Angel
  • Folk Art Angel
  • Folk Art Angel
  • Folk Art Angel
H 15 in. W 9 in. D 4 in.
Elephant
By Howard Finster
Located in Buffalo, NY
You are viewing a fantastic one of a kind hand carved hand painted wooden sculpture by listed American Folk Artist Howard Finster! For forty years, Howard Finster was a minister. ...
Category

1990s Howard Finster Art

Materials

Acrylic, Wood

  • Elephant
  • Elephant
  • Elephant
  • Elephant
H 15 in. W 9 in. D 4 in.
Angel's Paradise
By Howard Finster
Located in Miami, FL
This is one of Finster early and more desirable works. Work is Signed lower right, Howard Finster
Category

1980s Outsider Art Howard Finster Art

Materials

Oil

A House Divided
By Howard Finster
Located in New York, NY
Limited edition hand-signed "Howard Finster" in black marker lower right
Category

1980s Outsider Art Howard Finster Art

Materials

Lithograph

Story Map of the United States
By Howard Finster
Located in New York, NY
Hand-signed "Howard Finster" in the lower right margin Sponsored by Coca Cola at the High Museum of Art, ATL
Category

1990s Outsider Art Howard Finster Art

Materials

Lithograph

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