Director, Special Projects for the State of Eternity
April 18, 2015 7:02 PM   Subscribe

The one work of art by James Hampton was the The Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations' Millennium General Assembly. He built it when not working as a janitor for the General Services Administration. What does it mean? Good question. Everything Hampton ever wrote about it is in a single manuscript, St James: The Book of the 7 Dispensation... and it is in code.
posted by dfm500 (11 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
I am fascinated by outsider art...
posted by jim in austin at 8:11 PM on April 18, 2015

Oh, man, "Throne of the Third Heaven" is one of the most amazing artworks I've ever seen. The only two other things that had the same impact in person were Auguste Rodin's "Gates of Hell" and Hieronymus Bosch's "Garden of Earthly Delights" (hmm, somewhat of a theme!).

You walk into the room, and it's like there's this *presence* there. It's just so dense, so intricate, so many references, intended or not. Gnosticism, Aztec sculpture... for a little while, you can almost believe it really was built on divine instruction.

I cannot recommend enough going to go see it if you are in DC.
posted by tavella at 8:38 PM on April 18, 2015 [1 favorite]

I saw this in a magazine about 20 years ago and made sure the next time I was in DC to check it out. It is just amazing, and though I've only seen it once, its impact has stayed with me as much as any artwork I've ever seen. The pic from the link doesn't do it justice, but I don't think any photo could.
posted by skewed at 8:44 PM on April 18, 2015 [1 favorite]

I didn't realize this is in DC. Gotta get over there to see it. I was hoping for more about the code than just a link to the scanned pages, though.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:17 PM on April 18, 2015

Wow, this is really intriguing.
posted by desjardins at 9:46 PM on April 18, 2015

My god, it's full of foil!
posted by clavdivs at 9:50 PM on April 18, 2015

... if you are in DC ...

You might want to visit the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore (mentioned in the Wikipedia article that Jim in Austin linked to). It is an amazing place with astounding, mesmerizing artwork and kinetic sculpture.
posted by key_of_z at 9:52 PM on April 18, 2015 [1 favorite]

Also a great album by Le Loup
posted by z11s at 10:09 PM on April 18, 2015

The published code pages are from a web site of professor Mark Stamp. Searching around the site, I found this paper of a preliminary, inconclusive, analysis of Hamptonese.
posted by eye of newt at 11:23 PM on April 18, 2015

My absolute favorite piece of art. tavella, agreed with you about "Garden of Earthly Delights" feeling similar.

Entering the room and seeing "FEAR NOT" glowing in reflected light is as much of a spiritual experience as any I've had. Just a really special thing.
posted by harperpitt at 2:52 AM on April 19, 2015 [1 favorite]

Wow! What a fantastic piece of outsider art. Thank you for the great post--I probably would never have heard of this otherwise.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 9:32 PM on April 20, 2015

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