From a Janitor's Hidden Studio to the Smithsonian

The definition of art will vary depending on who is defining it, but when someone pours their heart and soul into creating something astonishing and thought-provoking, that's art no matter what it's made of. That was the case when James Hampton's hidden treasure was discovered after his death in 1964. Hampton was a reclusive man who never married and worked as a janitor at the General Services Administration in Washington, DC. He rented a garage that he used as his art studio, but no one knew what he built in there until the landlord unlocked it after Hampton died.

It contained his magnum opus, a construction made of found objects gilded with foil titled The Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations’ Millennium General Assembly. There was a throne, altars, a crown, and other religious icons. The art was accompanied by volumes of text written in code that has yet to be deciphered. Read about James Hampton and how his art posthumously made its way into the Smithsonian Institution at Messy Nessy Chic. 

(Image source: Smithsonian

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