The Art Newspaper article on the restoration of Prophet Isaiah Robertson's Second Coming House

The Art Newspaper; April 5, 2024

The Art Newspaper; April 5, 2024

pull quotes, The Art Newspaper; April 5, 2024:

“I spent an enormous amount of time there, and people would all the time stop their cars because it’s an arresting experience, and he really enjoyed talking to people and giving tours,” says Fred Scruton, who has photographed art environments across the US. He first visited what’s known as the Prophet Isaiah’s Second Coming House in 2010. “He wouldn’t even take credit for it. He said it was God moving his hand.”

Preserving ‘something magical’

Born in Jamaica in 1947, Robertson moved to Canada before relocating to Niagara Falls in 2004. While working as a carpenter on a renovation project at his local church, he experienced what he described as a prophecy. Scruton also photographed this earlier woodwork in the nearby Mt. Erie Baptist Church, which features the intricate symbolism that Robertson would expand on at the home he shared with his wife Gloria.

Following Robertson’s death in 2020, the fate of the house was uncertain. Despite having one of the country’s leading tourist destinations, the city of Niagara Falls has experienced a population loss since the 1960s, alongside the economic fallout experienced by many Rust Belt communities. Scruton contacted the Wisconsin-based Kohler Foundation, which has a focus on art environments, to preserve what he called “something magical in this low-income residential area”.

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