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[5] In 1928, Hampton moved to Washington, D.C. and shared an apartment with his older brother Lee. Following his honorable discharge from the army in 1945, Hampton returned to Washington. Financial support for Howard Academy, as well as teachers, came from the north. This piece became part of his larger work, and is now placed in front of the center pulpit. In 2018, Cheyenne/Arapaho author Tommy Orange published a short story, "The State,"[23] that references Hampton and The Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations Millennium General Assembly. The Throne derives coherence from parallel rows of components arranged on two levels. [12] He expressed an interest in finding a "holy woman" to assist with his life's work but never married. A cushioned throne at the rear is a focal point for the highly symmetrical array. Hampton created his masterpiece in a rented carriage house, transforming its drab interior into a resplendent world. Although he expressed interest in finding ​“a holy woman,” to assist with his life’s work he never married and had few close friends. Drafted into the Army in 1942, he served with a segregated unit that maintained airstrips in Saipan and Guam during World War II. When he opened the door, he found a room filled with the artwork.

The Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations’ Millennium General Assembly, commercially printed ledger, cardboard, ink, and foil, gold and silver aluminum foil, cardboard, found objects, gold and silver aluminum foil, cardboard, and found objects, mixed media: carpet, chair, painting, and cabinet with found and handmade objects, mixed media including acrylic paint, wood, wax, latex, gelatin silver prints and found objects, Inventories of American Painting and Sculpture, Art Bridges + Terra Foundation Initiative, Crown from The Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations’…, Stand from The Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations’…, Yielding to the Ancestors While Controlling the Hands of…, Using the Nam June Paik Archive - Access and Hours, Highlights from the Nam June Paik Archive, Online Resources for Researching Nam June Paik, Publication Requests for the Nam June Paik Archive. Crozier Technical High School and the University of North Texas (Theatre Arts Major). When Hampton's sister refused to take the artwork, the landlord placed an advertisement in local newspapers. He never married, lived alone in a small apartment in a row house in northwest Washington, and was described as a small, bespectacled, soft-spoken recluse with few friends. Exhibition Label, Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2006. Praises as America’s greatest work of visionary art, The Throne reveal one man’s faith in God as well as his hope for salvation. Presumably he attended the local schools in Elloree, South Carolina. Keep in touch by subscribing to news and updates from SAAM and Renwick Gallery. Objects on the right refer to the New Testament and Jesus; those on the left to the Old Testament and Moses. It is a particular material, along with its accompanying technique.

Two reporters came to view the display but did not deem it worthy of news coverage.

Art, History, Fine Dining & Entertainment. James.” He may have considered himself a prophet like John, the author of The Book of Revelation, the biblical writing that inspired Hampton’s belief in the Second Coming of Christ and his desire to build The Throne as a monument to the return of Christ to earth.

[6], In 1950, Hampton rented a garage on 7th street in northwest Washington. The centerpiece of the exhibit is a throne, seven feet tall, built on the foundation of an old maroon-cushioned armchair with the words "Fear Not" at its crest. [11] Art critic Robert Farris Thompson describes the Throne as "a unique fusion of biblical and Afro-American traditional imagery. "[12], Hampton kept a 108-page loose-leaf notebook titled St James: The Book of the 7 Dispensation. He knew that Hampton had been building something in the garage. Raised in Dallas, Texas, James Hampton attended John H. Reagan Elementary, N.R. Medium. The Throne and its associated components are made from discarded materials and found objects such as old furniture, cardboard cutouts, and light bulbs. His work on The Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations Millennium General Assembly probably began in earnest around 1950, when he rented a garage in his northwest Washington neighborhood, which was also the city’s center of African-American business, religious, and night life. Denney brought art dealers Leo Castelli and Ivan Karp, and artist Robert Rauschenberg, to see the exhibit in the garage.

Hampton died of stomach cancer on November 4, 1964, at the Veteran's Hospital in Washington.

The Throne embodies a complex fusion of Christianity and African-American spiritual practices overlaying themes of deliverance and freedom; it is both astonishingly splendid and profoundly humble. These movements divided the history of God's interactions with humanity into seven phases or dispensations, the last of which would be the "Millennium.

He served with the 385th Aviation Squadron in Texas, Hawaii and in the jungles of Saipan and Guam. His father, a gospel singer and self-ordained Baptist minister, left his wife and four children to pursue his itinerant calling. Lowe paid Hampton's outstanding rent and took possession of the art display. Additional facts concerning Hampton’s life are scarce.

In 2015, author Shelley Pearsall published a young adult novel, The Seventh Most Important Thing, which put the artwork and the artist in a fictional context, imagining a meeting between Hampton and a troubled thirteen-year-old boy. [4] His father, who had abandoned the family, was a gospel singer and a traveling Baptist preacher who was also a known criminal who had worked on chain gangs. [7], Some of the text was accompanied by notes in English in Hampton's handwriting. All public programs are online only, on-site public tours and events are currently suspended. Hampton built a small, shrine-like object during his time in Guam that he later incorporated into his larger artwork. In 1970, Hampton's work was donated to the Smithsonian American Art Museum, where it has been on display ever since. Ed Kelly, a sculptor, answered the advertisement and was so astounded by the exhibit, he contacted art collector Alice Denney. In the notebook, Hampton referred to himself as St. James with the title "Director, Special Projects for the State of Eternity" and ended each page with the word "Revelation. commercially printed ledger, cardboard, ink, and foil, gold and silver aluminum foil, cardboard, found objects, gold and silver aluminum foil, cardboard, and found objects, Smithsonian American Art Museum (8th and G Streets, NW), about Artworks by African Americans from the Collection, Inventories of American Painting and Sculpture, Art Bridges + Terra Foundation Initiative, The Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations’ Millennium…, Crown from The Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations’…, Stand from The Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations’…, Artworks by African Americans from the Collection, Using the Nam June Paik Archive - Access and Hours, Highlights from the Nam June Paik Archive, Online Resources for Researching Nam June Paik, Publication Requests for the Nam June Paik Archive.

On an application for federal employment in Washington, Hampton claimed to have attended an African-American high school in the District of Columbia through the tenth grade. He is interred at the Warren Chapel Baptist Church in Elloree, South Carolina.

The indie music group Le Loup named their 2007 debut album The Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations' Millennium General Assembly.

The artistic gifts of James Hampton were virtually unknown until shortly after his death. James Hampton was totally dedicated to his ​ “ vision”, a ​ “ vision” that almost defies artistic classification yet produced an outstanding example of religious sculpture.

The Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations Millennium General Assembly: Poems Collected and New. Over the next 14 years, Hampton built a complex work of religious art inside the garage with various scavenged materials such as aluminum and gold foil, old furniture, pieces of cardboard, light bulbs, jelly jars, shards of mirror and desk blotters held together with tacks, glue, pins and tape.[5]. He hand-crafted many of the elements from cardboard and plastic, but added structure with found objects from his neighborhood, such as old furniture and jelly jars, and discards like light bulbs from the federal office buildings in which he worked. [18] Hampton hoped to develop a storefront ministry but never achieved that goal.[2].

He had few close friends and spent most of his personal time working on his shrine. In November 1964, Hampton died of cancer in Washington at the age of fifty-three.

Although a humble man, Hampton often referred to himself as ​“St. "[5], Hampton also created wall plaques with Roman numerals one through ten and his undecipherable script suggesting commandment-bearing tablets. In November 1964, Hampton died of cancer in Washington at the age of fifty-three. [8] The term "third heaven" is based on scriptures that refer to it as the "heaven of heavens" or God's realm. [5] Harry Lowe, the assistant director of the Smithsonian Art Museum, told the Washington Post that walking into the garage "was like opening Tut's tomb. To complete each element, Hampton used shimmering metallic foils and brilliant purple paper (now faded to tan) to evoke spiritual awe and splendor.

These works by untrained artists are powerfully evocative of a personal vision. His reference to the ​“third heaven” is based on scriptures citing it as the ​“heaven of heavens” — God’s realm.

... Hampton, Taylor, Moseley, Gadsden, Gardner, and Owens. "[8], The story of Hampton and his artwork finally became public in the December 15, 1964 issue of the Washington Post. The Smithsonian American Art Museum and its Renwick Gallery are now open, with timed-entry passes required for the main building. The Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations’ Millennium General Assembly is a complex work of art created by James Hampton over a period of fourteen years. Although Hampton did not live to initiate a public ministry, his commanding phrase — ​“FEAR NOT” — summarizes his project’s powerful message. [10] The work also has an affiliation with African-American yard shows as well as altars used in African-derived New World religions such as Vodou, Santería and Candomblé. The Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations’ Millennium General Assembly is a complex work of art created by James Hampton over a period of fourteen years. [2] It was made based on several religious visions that prompted him to prepare for Christ's return to earth.

James Hampton was totally dedicated to his ​“vision”, a ​“vision” that almost defies artistic classification yet produced an outstanding example of religious sculpture. Hampton was raised as a fundamentalist Baptist, but he disliked the concept of a denominational God and attended a variety of the city’s churches. [19], Hampton died of stomach cancer on November 4, 1964, at the Veteran's Hospital in Washington.

Hampton worked as a short-order cook until 1943 when he was drafted into the United States Army Air Forces.

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