James Hampton, Gold Crowns #2 and #3 (The Nations Millennium General Assembly, Revelation 7, Verse 3) ca. 1950-64 (via)
In 1964, James Hampton, a reclusive worker at the General Services Administration in Washington, died of stomach cancer. His rented garage lay unopened until the landlord decided to rent it out and opened it to find a trove of glittering silvery objects. Reluctant to dispose of the strange collection, the landlord contacted museums, local newspapers and even the New York Times.
Eventually, the National Collection of Fine Arts, now the Smithsonian American Art Museum, agreed to pay the past due rental fees for the garage and acquired in 1970 the indescribable horde, later known to the world as the Throne of the Third Heaven Nations’ Millennium General Assembly or simply the Hampton Throne. The silvery gleam was caused, of course, by reflections from the aluminum foil covering almost every surface. Its like had never been seen.
from a 2015 lecture by Helen Ingalls,
James Hampton’s Throne of the Third Heaven
of the Nations’ Millennium General Assembly
In our earlier post about Billy Name’s use of aluminum foil to decorate Andy Warhol’s “Factory” studio, we could find no evidence that he used Reynolds Wrap® brand aluminum foil. Even though plenty of people thought so.
James Hampton & Reynolds Wrap
In Hampton’s case, however, there is proof, that —(in addition to discarded foil packaging)— he relied on Reynolds Wrap aluminum foil. The evidence was provided by another of the company’s packaging improvements, similar to the “easy key-opener” we discussed yesterday.
… within the last year, Reynolds has satisfied consumer requests for a visual means of determining the amount of foil left on the roll by applying a pressure-sensitive reminder sticker 6 ft. from the roll’s end. (The sticker can be seen in our cover illustration.)
Modern Packaging 1962
I wish I could have found the “cover illustration” mentioned above, but no matter. The point is, conservators found a number of these stickers still adhered to the foil in some places on the Hampton Throne.
“Exclusive End-of-Roll Reminder”
In their advertising at that time, Reynolds Aluminum called this feature their “exclusive end-of-roll reminder.”
As a millennialist, Hampton may have appreciated these reminders from Reynolds Wrap that the end was near.
(A video of Helen Ingalls’ lecture (quoted above) follows after the fold.)