Marvin Finn's Wooden SculpturesMarvin Finn (1913 - 2007)
Louisville, Kentucky, 40202, United States
About the Artist/Site
Louisville artist Marvin Finn began his artistic journey as a child in a family of 14, determined to make his own toys. Learning carving from his father, Finn continued creating wooden toys for his five children. Finn is widely known for his sculptures of birds, specifically roosters, and other barnyard animals, inspired by his experience growing up on a farm in Alabama. Other subjects include heavy machinery like cranes and bulldozers, based on Finn’s time working as a laborer on the docks of Louisville. The wooden toys are brightly colored and decorated with stripes and dots. The patterning and rooster iconography evoke ideas of West African art, linking to crafting traditions and lore associated with the Yoruba culture, according to Dr. Regenia Perry’s essay “Black American Folk Art, Origins and Early Manifestations.”
Finn’s reputation as a beloved local artist was cemented in 2002 when his roosters were recreated in a larger scale and installed in a public display in Waterfront Park in Louisville. Finn’s original sculptures can be found in private collections as well as KMAC Contemporary Art Museum.
~Nikki Ranney, 2023
Livingston, Jane, John Beardsley, Regenia Perry, and Regenia Perry. “Black American Folk Art, Origins and Early Manifestations.” Essay. In Black Folk Art in America, 1930-1980. Jackson, MS: Published for the Corcoran Gallery of Art by the University Press of Mississippi, 1982.
Map & Site Information
Louisville, Kentucky, 40202 us
Latitude/Longitude: 38.2556928 / -85.751283