Frank Finney was born Royland Frank Smith Finney, May 14, 1947 in Cornwall, England. Finney’s father, Herman David Finney, of Native American heritage, was born in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Herman Finney was a carver who joined the U.S. Navy and later was a culinary artist, caning flowers and birds from fruits and vegetables as decoration for government banquet tables. Frank’s mother, Ethel Grunvauld, was Dutch, born in South Africa. Finney moved to the United States at the age of seven. As a boy, he spent much of his time carving decoys, as well as hunting, fishing and trapping.
During the Vietnam War, Frank joined the Army. Wounded in action, Frank Finney received many awards, including the Purple Heart, V-Valor Battalion Award and the United States Army Commendation Award. While working as a commercial fisherman, he saved the life of a man at sea.
A folk artist and carver working in multiple mediums, including wood, stone, bone and shell, Finney has been discussed in numerous books and publications and represented in well known collections. Finney is considered by many experts in the folk art world to be the best of his generation. Frank Finney has been inspired by his background, his travel throughout the world, his wife Mary, his two daughters and many great folk artists before him.