HOWARD FINSTER (1916-2001)


Baptist Minister Howard Finster’s works were part of his calling; he believed that he had received visions that instructed him to use his artistic talents to spread the Word of God. Finster had his first vision when he was only three years old, and by sixteen he answered the call to preach. Finster involved himself in many tent revivals and church raisings and by 1940 was a fulltime pastor for the Rock Bridge Baptist Church. Finster retired from preaching in 1965 and in 1976 received his pivotal vision: to directly create at least 5,000 works of sacred art to be used as tools to spread the word of God. Howard Finster’s works have been seen nationwide and he has been included in exhibitions in the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian Institute. Finster passed away in 2001, yet his art still works at spreading his vision and his word to a growing global audience.

Credited with creating more than 50,000 works, each carefully numbered, Finster depicted heavily detailed imagery drawn from pop culture coupled with dense Biblical verse. His subject matter would range from politics to UFO aliens, all in his distinctive style of flat perspective and the use of bright colors, each with his dense text neatly layered on top. Finster had accepted commissions to design notable album covers for musical acts such as The Talking Heads and R.E.M. knowing the exposure gained by these album covers would take his message even further.