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December 3, 2022
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Throne of St.James
Produced by: Melanie Thornton
Matthew Leonard
In a Washington, D.C. garage, James Hampton, a non- descript janitor by trade, started work on the Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations Millennium General Assembly. Built entirely out of discarded objects, this 180 piece sculpture was discovered after James' death in 1964. Considered by some to be one of the finest examples of American visionary religious art, the Throne resides at the Smithsonian. This is the story of The Throne of St. James. This program comes to us from Radio New Zealand and airs as part of the international documentary exchange series, Crossing Boundaries.

Program Credits

The Throne of St. James was produced by Melanie Thornton and Matthew Leonard of Radio New Zealand, and narrated by K.C. Kelly. It originally aired as part of the international documentary exchange series, Crossing Boundaries


The Secret Writing of James Hampton
Learn about the inspiration for the throne and the artist's own writings and sketches.

St. James the Janitor
More about the life and work of Hampton and his spiritual artistic vision.

American Visionary Art Museum
A Baltimore-based museum featuring work by self-taught artists whose art arise from an innate personal vision.

Fear Not the Third Millennium
A description of this 180 piece work from the Smithsonian Institute's exhibit.

Sharing Traditions: Five Black Artists in Nineteenth-Century America
by: Lynda Hartigan 1985
An indepth look at the art of James Hampton, featured alongside four other contemporary black artists.

Crossroads: Art and Religion in American Life
by: Glenn Wallach, editor 2001
An anthology of essays on the role of art and religion within American life.

Thaddeus Mosley: African-American Sculptor
by: David Lewis (Narrator), Lonnie Graham (Photographer), Thaddeus Mosley 1997
Interviews with a black postal worker who on his off-time honed his gift for sculpture throughout a lifetime.

Radio Online
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Programs by Melanie Thornton

Programs by Matthew Leonard

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