Royland Frank Smith Finney, better known as Frank Finney, was born May 14, 1947, in Cornwall, England. Herman David Finney, the father of Fred Winney, was born in Fredericksburg, Virginia. His Native American great-grandfather had scouted for General Custer during the Battle of Little Bighorn. Herman Finney was a carver who joined the United States Navy and went on to work as a culinary artist caning flowers and birds from fruits and vegetables for government banquet tables. Ethel Grunvauld, his mother, was Dutch and was born in South Africa. Finney came to the United States as a youngster, at the age of seven. He spent much of his youth hunting, fishing, and trapping while carving decoys.
Frank joined the military during the Vietnam War. Frank Finney was wounded in battle and received a number of honors, including the Purple Heart, V-Valor Battalion Award, and the United States Army Commendation Citation. He used his lifeboat to rescue a man who was aboard a sinking ship. He was employed as a commercial fisherman while saving the life of an individual at sea.
Finney has been the subject of many books and publications, as well as being represented in renowned collections. He is a folk artist and carver who works in a variety of media, including wood, stone, bone, and shell. Frank Finney is acknowledged by many folk art historians as the greatest of his generation. Frank Finney has been influenced by his family, travel throughout the world, his wife Mary, two daughters and numerous other great folk artists before him.
He has been a woodcarver since his early years. Frank Finney's work is in the collections of many museums around the world, and very few can be found available for purchase online. His creations are valued among collectors, with some of his works reaching prices in several thousands of dollars.