Artist to know: Marvin Finn

Wow…we recently discovered folk artist Marvin Finn.

You’ll never know how we even found out where and why we found out either…such a great story, with a bummer ending.

Over the holiday break, Kim and I went on a random thrift trip on our way to do some returns at the Natick Mall in Massachusetts and stopped by Savers. Have you heard of Savers before? Basically, it’s on par with a Goodwill…and an amazing place to find some treasures, and keep on the reg.

Well, I’m not sure what possessed me to pull over and go in, but I did. And discovered something pretty cool.

These two bird sculptural pieces caught my eye…and they were only $4.99 at the Savers in Natick, MA. I didn’t think much of them, only that they were “interesting.” You see, Kim and I have a thing for the simplicity of folk art. There’s something modern, yet basic about folk art…and we love it. And you know what we also love? Birds. So it should have been a “win-win.” They were even signed!

Marvin Finn

But I didn’t trust my gut. I didn’t buy them

Then…we got this Instagram message that night:

Ummmmm….the rest of the story doesn’t really matter much because we left without the pieces…and I didn’t trust my gut, and we went back the following day to find they were GONE!

Tears were had. Frustration ran deep. HOWEVER…

We learned about someone really cool, and connected with our fellow thrifting community. We even recommitted our love to folk art, and are sharing some really great pieces for you to buy here too.

So, who is this Marvin Finn?

First, his story is incredible. Accoring to Louisville Visual Art, “Finn embodies the meaning of the Folk Art aesthetic. His love of carving wood came from watching his sharecropper father whittle as a young boy in Clio, Alabama, and his lack of any formal art education and adherence to simple forms fits the concept perfectly. He spent many years making wooden toys for his children and grandchildren so that there was also a purity in the motivation.”

“There were ten boys and two girls in my family, and most of them older than I was, so I didn’t have toys except I made them,” said Finn when recalling his childhood on the farm in Clio. “I thought my old man was everything. When I was little I stood right up under him when he was whittling, and I learned it from him. I always tried to make my own toys when I was coming up as a kid. Anything that looked like a toy I would go into the woods and find me a tree and make it. But I remember a lot of Christmases when I never even seen me a toy.” (1)

Wow, we really let that one go. Totally kicking ourselves now because we really would have appreciated the pieces, along with the amazing history of Marvin Finn.


There is a lesson:



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