Since blogs seem to thrive on regular features, I have decided to start one here at T&S. Because my father is an art historian and a curator at the Museum of Church History and Art, I have always been interested in the images and art that Mormonism has produced. Thus, I will begin regularlly posting samples of it to this blog, along with a little bit of commentary. I begin with C.C.A. Christiansen
This painting depicts the arrest of Mormon leaders by the Missouri mob. It was painted by C.C.A. Christiansen, a 19th-century Danish convert to the Church. C.C.A. studied art at the National Art Academy in Copenhagen, Denmark, where he consistently failed his figure drawing classes. After pulling a hand cart to Utah he became obsessed with telling the story of Mormonism, forcing him to fill his paintings with the somewhat niave figures you can see in this image. This picture was part of a panorama show that he would take around to settlements in Utah telling the early history of the Church. Note, that C.C.A. very deliberately depicts the “mob” in military uniforms. The point was to remind Mormons that the persecution they had suffered was not the result of random vigalantes, but rather was organized and executed by officers of the state. C.C.A. Christiansen died in 1912.