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.
“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)
ST. LUKE 5–20 AND WHEN HE SAW THEIR FAITH. HE SAID UNTO HIM. MAN THY SINS ARE FORGIVEN THEE.
- 20 x 24 x 1 3⁄8 in. (50.9 x 61.1 x 3.5 cm.)
- Credit Line
Smithsonian American Art Museum
Gift of Chuck and Jan Rosenak and museum purchase through the Luisita L. and Franz H. Denghausen Endowment
- Mediums Description
- enamel on metal
- Object – written matter
- Allegory – religion – salvation
- Religion – Christianity
- Object Number
- Linked Open Data
- Linked Open Data URI