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Howard Finster
THE HERBERT WADE HEMPHILL J.R. COLLECTION FOUNDER OF AMERICAN FOLK ART THE MAN WHO PRESERVES THE LONE AND FORGOTTEN. THE UNKNOWN COLLECTIOn
1978
enamel on plywood
79 1/2 x 50 in.
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Herbert Waide Hemphill, Jr. and museum purchase made possible by Ralph Cross Johnson



Two years after meeting Howard Finster in 1976, Herbert Waide Hemphill, Jr., asked the artist to paint his portrait. Working from Polaroid photographs, Finster created a tribute to a man who had dedicated his life to collecting art by little known folk artists. Although Finster did not know about Hemphill's extensive library, he surrounded the collector with books, among them a bible and imaginary publications such as Age of the UFOs.