Mormon Arts

Arts – Music – Poetry – Cinema – Television

Amateur Music in the Church

January 16, 2004 | 19 comments
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I was recently thinking about music in the church. To be specific, I was wondering about the church policy of not hiring professional musicians, but simply plugging the best available members into any slot where they can conceivably fit. I have been ward organist myself, despite my complete lack of training on the organ. Our current ward organist is Logan’s lovely and talented wife, who has also (I believe) had no formal organ training. This is not to critique her efforts (or my own); we have both done pretty well, I think, especially with liberal use of the Bass... Read more »

A Mormon Image: Irish Football

January 14, 2004 | 4 comments
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A Mormon Image: Irish Football

The following picture was sent to me by a law professor that I know at Notre Dame. The picture was taken during the Notre Dame v. BYU football game last fall, which was held in South Bend. Read more »

A Mormon Image: The Angel in the Mountains

January 6, 2004 | 3 comments
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A Mormon Image: The Angel in the Mountains

Mormonism managed to make it as National Geographic’s photograph of the day. Read more »

A Mormon Image: Quilting the Tree of Life

December 22, 2003 | 4 comments
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A Mormon Image: Quilting the Tree of Life

What counts as art is an interesting question. We have a bias toward thinking of art in terms of oil paintings, bronze statues, or marble carvings. One of the unfortunate effects of this bias is that it makes much of the art done by women invisibile. You’ll note that most of the work done in those mediums has been done by men. However, if we expand our sense of what constitutes art, there are mediums where women clearly dominate. Consider quilting. Read more »

A Mormon Image: Temple Murals and Art Missionaries

December 12, 2003 | 11 comments
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A Mormon Image: Temple Murals and Art Missionaries

While many members don’t realize it, there is actually a fairly strong tradition of impressionistic painting among Mormon artistists. The origins of the tradition go back to the decision of the Church to send some budding young LDS artists to Paris as “Art Missionaries” in the late 19th century. This painting, a study for the mural in the Garden Room of the Salt Lake Temple, is an example of this impressionist tradition. Read more »

A Mormon Image: The All-Seeing Eye

December 8, 2003 | 34 comments
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A Mormon Image: The All-Seeing Eye

During the nineteenth-century all-seeing eyes were a common Mormon image. They seem to have been borrowed from Masonry and represented the presence of God. Accordingly, the symbol was frequently associated with temples, and appears in numerous places on the interior and exterior of the Salt Lake Temple. This image, however, is much earlier and comes from the St. George Tabranacle. Read more »

A Mormon Image: The 19th Ward Chapel

December 5, 2003 | 4 comments
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A Mormon Image: The 19th Ward Chapel

When Brigham Young laid out Great Salt Lake City in the 1840s, he modeled it on the Mormon experience in Nuavoo. Thus, the city was divided into wards, which were combined to form the original Salt Lake Stake of Zion. In all there were nineteen of these wards, and they continued to be the core units of the Church in Salt Lake for many, many years. This chapel, built in 1890, housed one of those original wards. Read more »

A Mormon Image: A Photograph of Joseph?

December 3, 2003 | 19 comments
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A Mormon Image: A Photograph of Joseph?

Some believe that this image is a photograph of the Prophet Joseph Smith. If they are right, it is the only known photographic image of Joseph . . . Read more »

A Mormon Image: C.C.A. Christiansen

December 2, 2003 | 4 comments
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A Mormon Image: C.C.A. Christiansen

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 Read more »

An Image for Kaimi

November 30, 2003 | 5 comments
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An Image for Kaimi

Here is what I have always thought was the best visual depication of Kaimi’s theory of Book of Mormon geography. The painting is by the wonderful Minerva Teichert. Read more »

He Forgets Not His Own

November 26, 2003 | no comments
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A Mormon Image: Our Army

November 25, 2003 | one comment
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A Mormon Image: Our Army

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Another post about hymns

November 22, 2003 | 4 comments
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Greg’s recent post about hymns made me think again about an issue I’ve been reminded of every several months for the past two years. I live in the Bronx, and my ward has somewhat unusual demographics. It is probably 60% African-American, including the Bishop and First Counselor, which I had never seen in a U.S. ward before. It is also very much a mission-field ward, with maybe a third of its members having belonged to the church for more than four or five years. With the ward’s demographic mix and the members’ relative lack of church experience, subjects like... Read more »

Reason’s Stare

November 21, 2003 | no comments
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Eliza R. Snow in the New York Post

November 21, 2003 | one comment
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A couple of weeks ago I was perusing that paragon of journalistic integrity, the New York Post (today’s cover: “JACKO: Now Get Out of This One!), and saw a phrase that I’d previously only heard sung (much too slowly) in church. The lead of George Will’s column was “Of capital punishment, Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney says: ‘It makes reason stare.’ Indeed it does.” First of all, what does this phrase from the early Mormon hymn “O My Father” mean? I guess I understand what its meant to convey, but it certainly is a curious turn of phrase. Has any... Read more »