The Road Less Traveled




Artist Dates



image preview

Date of Work

ca. 1976


35mm slide, digitized 2020


James Smith Pierce Collection: Folk and Outsider Image Collection




UND Art Collections Repository

Artist Bio

Born in Brooklyn, New York, James Smith Pierce received his PhD in art history from Harvard University. During his career as a professor, Pierce also became an accomplished artist, whose artworks were included in important exhibitions (including a show on land art at the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, DC) and books on contemporary earthworks and site-specific sculpture. Pierce was also a photographer, exhibition curator, and art collector.

Additional Information

Howard Finster (1916-2001) was one of thirteen children and was born in Alabama in the year 1916. When he was 6 years old he started school, but only went through the 6th grade. At the young age of 16 he started preaching for a Baptist church in Georgia. He would see visions that he believed were from God; these visions inspired him to spread the gospel through art. His artwork often reflected inspiration from Bible verses that inspired him. His artist-created environment became known as Paradise Garden, which holds over 47,000 pieces of art and took over thirty-five years to complete. The pieces of artwork are made out of materials he obtained from his bicycle and television businesses, as well as other trades that he did. The Garden was registered under the National registry for historic art in 2012. The Garden has undergone restorations as time and the elements cause the art to wear. However, Paradise Garden is still a beautiful place where people can go to see the incredible site created by Reverend Finster.

This image shows the entrance of Paradise Garden, the home of over 47,000 pieces of art.

Image is provided for educational purposes only. © University of North Dakota. All rights reserved.

Condition Notes

35 mm slide in excellent condition.


Image Location