Pearl Fincher, Philanthropist and Texas Woman Who Made History

Native Texan Pearl Lilley Fincher was born in 1935. She grew up as one of 11 kids to a Baptist preacher and a homemaker in Splendora, TX.  They were extremely poor with most of her siblings and their families staying in the cycle of poverty.  Pearl wanted more.  When she and her husband met and married, between the two of them they had $60 in the bank and working 2 jobs each.  Together they started with a single used automobile business, Fred Fincher Motors in 1959.  At the time of Pearl’s husband’s death in 1996, they had 15 automotive related business operated by their 9 children. 

She always had a burning desire to help people of humble beginnings to have every opportunity for a better life.  Pearl truly lived by the philosophy "to whom much is given, much is required", serving on the boards of the American Heart Association, The Tomball Regional Arts Committee, The Centrum Arts, and the Pearl Fincher Museum of Fine Arts. She knew God had blessed her and she wanted to give back.  She deeply believed in education and felt if kids were exposed to art at an early age, that exposure had the potential to stir a desire to be and do more.  When the idea of converting the former Barbara Bush Library building into a Museum of Fine Art, Pearl was all in.

George Bush and Pearl
The Pearl Fincher Museum of Fine Arts, named after Pearl, is free to all. It focuses on education and community with many private exhibits that have never been seen by the public.  The "Pearl" hosts free monthly Family Days open to the public with hands on art projects.  Also has School Art Days when students from local public, private and home-schools tour the art exhibits as school field trips.  The museum is located in an area where the schools are at least 50% economically disadvantaged (free or reduced lunches), with some of the schools in the area are as much as 70% economically disadvantage. The Pearl is paving the way for the next generation of great artists through its free exposure to art. The museum also hosts an annual Student Art Contest which recognizes the artistic achievements of students in Northwest Houston and fosters their continued access to art education opportunities.

Ground breaking ceremony for Pearl Fincher Museum
Pearl Fincher
One of Pearl Fincher's proudest moments was attending the swearing-in ceremony of her daughter, Patricia Harless. Patricia Harless kindly shared all the photographs shown in this blog. The Honorable Patricia Harless served as a Texas State Representative of District 126 for 10 years and is a current member of the Pearl Fincher Museum of Fine Arts Board of Directors. Patricia is also a proud member of the Greater Houston Women's Chamber of Commerce. 

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