Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Maker Monday - Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations'

Photo of the Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations' Millennium General Assembly by James Hampton from Mike Black on Flickr in the Smithsonian Museum of American Art
[Charles] Washington D.C. can lead to serious museum overload, but I'm really glad we saw so much this weekend! We had a little trip for a family wedding and in the bride's guide to town, this piece of art was listed as her favorite. It is an amazing and arresting installation with an even more unbelievable story. This was the only known piece of art from James Hampton, a DC man that worked as a janitor during the day and built this piece at night in secret. It is constructed from found materials like cardboard, paper, thumb tacks, old furniture pieces, and covered in aluminum foil. It isn't known why he was inspired to create this religiously inspired piece. He worked on it in a rented garage for 14 years and it was only discovered on his death by the landlord. If you want to read more about this, check it out here on the Smithsonian's website. I was struck by the sort of commitment and obsession that something like that would require. Thanks Katie for suggesting it, the whole folk art section of that museum was a highlight of our trip!

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