Howard Finster and Paradise Gardens

We made it to Howard Finster’s Paradise Gardens! It was wonderful!

Howard Finster was born and grew up in Alabama, but he moved to Pennville, Georgia as an adult and transformed what used to be a dump into his own evangelical art environment.  Well, I’m getting ahead of myself.  His schooling ended when he finished sixth grade and as a teenager he became a traveling preacher, and that eventually took him to Georgia.  In his thirties, he started making his own miniature buildings and religious assemblages, and when he moved to Pennville he took those and that was the start of Paradise Gardens, which he at that time called ‘Plant Farm Museum’.

Below is a pic of the World’s Folk Art Church – some people call it the chapel, and Finster used to perform weddings there.  It started out as a ‘regular’ church, and he bought it with money he received from a NEA grant.  He added to it after getting a vision of it having extra floors and a big steeple…

This is a *great* video of Finster on the Johnny Carson show:

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