James Hampton (artist)

James Hampton
James Hampton (artist).jpg
Born(1909-04-08)April 8, 1909
Elloree, South Carolina
DiedNovember 4, 1964(1964-11-04) (aged 55)
NationalityAmerican
Known forsacred art
Styleoutsider art

James Hampton (April 8, 1909–November 4, 1964) was an African-American janitor who secretly built a large assemblage of religious art from scavenged materials, and is considered an outsider artist.[1][2]


Early life

James Hampton was born in Elloree, South Carolina, in 1909. His father was a gospel singer and a traveling Baptist preacher. In 1928, Hampton left for Washington, DC, to join his elder brother Lee, where they shared an apartment. James Hampton worked as a short-order cook until 1942 when he was drafted into United States Army Air Forces. He served as a carpenter with the noncombatant 385th Aviation Squadron around the Pacific theatre. He was honorably discharged in 1945 and returned to Washington, DC.

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