Josephus Farmer

Year inducted: 2015
1894-1989

Josephus Farmer was a traveling evangelical minister who moved to Milwaukee in the 1940s. He connected with its inner city through his evangelism and storefront church. His central vocation was to spread the word of God, so he began carving and selling religious images to finance his evangelical work. Each of Farmer’s works came to have both a didactic and spiritual purpose, which favored biblical and patriotic themes. He is best known for his bas-reliefs carved in redwood, which were then painted in colorful enamels and decorated with rhinestones. Farmer’s work has come to be associated with folk art, “outsider” art, and African American culture.

Works by Josephus Farmer