Zebedee Armstrong

A visionary artist with a profound message on time and divinity through his unique doomsday calendars.

Zebedee B. Armstrong, known as Z.B. Armstrong (1911–1993), was an American outsider artist from McDuffie County, Georgia. His life was deeply rooted in the rural South, where he worked in the cotton fields and later at the Thomson Box Factory, following the death of his wife in 1969. Armstrong’s artistry is most famously encapsulated in his creation of doomsday calendars, a pursuit he embarked on after a claimed angelic visitation in 1972. This celestial messenger warned him of the world’s impending end, prompting Armstrong to dedicate his life to predicting the apocalypse through intricate calendars. These pieces were not just artistic expressions but were deeply imbued with religious significance, reflecting Armstrong’s focus on the Book of Revelation and the concept of Judgment Day.

Armstrong’s calendars, numbering almost 1,500, were meticulously crafted from wood and adorned with grids and scripture passages, serving as a complex system to forecast doomsday. His workspaces were filled with these calendars and other self-made items, showcasing a life devoted to understanding and communicating divine messages. Despite his reclusiveness in later years, Armstrong’s work gained recognition and was exhibited in various art shows, including those at the American Visionary Art Museum and the Gregg Museum of Art and Design. His legacy is preserved in collections across the United States, including the Art Museum of Southeast Texas and the Morris Museum of Art in Augusta, Georgia.

Armstrong’s story and artistry offer a fascinating glimpse into the world of outsider art, highlighting a unique intersection of religious fervor, apocalyptic anticipation, and creative expression. Through his calendars, Armstrong sought to make sense of divine warnings and share his revelations about the end of time, contributing to a broader understanding of how art, spirituality, and the human experience of temporality can intertwine​​​​​​.

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