Center for Latter-day Saint Arts

On This Day...

A DAILY FACTOID OF OUR ART HISTORY

July 29

J. Malan Heslop (died today, 2011) was a combat photographer during World War II, where he was one of the first American photographers to document evidence of Nazi war crimes and the prisoners at the Ebensee concentration camp. After the war, he joined the Deseret News and held the position of chief photographer for 20 years. Heslop also served as editor and then managing editor of the Church News.

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Glen Nelson
July 24

On the centennial of the Saints entering the Salt Lake valley (on this day, 1947), Mahonri Young's magestic This Is the Place Monument at the mouth of Emigration Canyon was dedicated. Sculptor Mahonri Macintosh Young, last grandson of Brigham, was given only one minute to speak at the event. He said, "My friends, this is the 100th Anniversary of the day when the Pioneers arrived in this Valley. I shall be seventy years old on the 9th day of August, next. This is the greatest day of my life. I want to thank all the people who have been so faithful in carrying out that work. It has been a tremendous job. There have been delays; there have been difficulties, but the monument is essentially done. I thank you."

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Glen Nelson
July 18

In 1937 renowned cinematographer Lawrence Dallin "Dal" Clawson died of an intestinal malady, even within an hour of his mother's death. His first feature film credit was in 1914, and by the 1920s he was shooting around the world as a cameraman and cinematographer for silent films and early talkies. From 1937 to 1914, Clawson was the cinematographer for dozens of films, and he eventually founded the American Society of Cinematographers.

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Glen Nelson
July 16

Composer and singer Lavinia Triplet Careless was born on this day (1846). A talented vocalist in 19th century Salt Lake City, Lavinia composed the hymn, Once More, My Soul, the Rising Day, (text by Isaac Watts) which appeared in the 1927 Latter-day Saint Hymns. She is one of the only women represented in official hymnals in her day. She and her husband, the early LDS composer and conductor, George Careless, were fixtures in the early Utah music scene.

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Glen Nelson
July 13

"Mormon Panorama," an exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art opened on this day (1970) featuring the monumental series of paintings by C. C. A. Christensen. 175 feet altogether, the 22 paintings that depicted events in early Church history were displayed on the main floor of the museum and also were reproduced in Art in America magazine.

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Glen Nelson
July 9

The silent film, Caprice of the Mountains, was released on this day (1916). Mormon actresses Sarah Alexander and her niece, Lisle Leigh, appeared in Caprice and other films by the same company at eighty and thirty-seven, respectively. The Deseret News reported of Alexander that she was "distinguished as the eldest actress who had ever been filmed."

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Glen Nelson
July 7

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (who died on this day, 1930), wrote a novel in 1886 and published 1887, A Study in Scarlet. It is a novel whose case involves the frothy and murderous tale of 1847 Mormons in Salt Lake City, told in flashback. The 27-year old novelist wrote the book in less than three weeks. It is the first appearance of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson in print.

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Glen Nelson
July 6

The art style of Brian Kershisnik (1962) can be described as primative-realist with a dream-like qualitie that idealizes human figures. His works can be found in several institutions, including the Brigham Young University Museum of Art, the permanent collection of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Covey Center for the arts.

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Glen Nelson
July 3

The first exhibition at Salt Lake City's Art Barn opened on this day (1932), featuring the work of John Hafen. The Art Barn became ground zero for the arts community in Utah and displayed and performed the works of many Mormon artists

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Glen Nelson
July 1

The Exponent II was started in July 1974 in the Cambridge, Massachusetts area by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, Claudia Bushman, and a group of other women. As part of the second-wave feminist movement, this magazine provides personal essays and poetry that highlight feminist views of Mormon women's experiences.

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Glen Nelson
June 29

Ben Howell's Transcription I was a performance piece of a hanging scroll with his handwritten transcription of the first half of the Book of Mormon. Howell's work was part of the exhibition Immediate Present that premiered at the Mormon Arts Center Festival on this day (2017).

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Glen Nelson
June 28

In search of competition experience for his students, Paul Pollei organized the BYU Summer Piano Festival on this day (1976). Two years later, it is renamed for Gina Bachauer. In 1983, it joined the World Federation of International Music Competitions, and now is the second largest piano competition in America.

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Glen Nelson
June 26

On this day (1883), Charles Roscoe Savage, the influential photographer of early Utah history, landscape, and people, became debt free through his entrepreneurial efforts of his photography studio, the Art Bazar. And on that day, it mysteriously burned to the ground. He rebuilt it, but his entire collection of negatives were destroyed.

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Glen Nelson
June 25

On this day (2018), Dan Reynolds, the lead singer of Imagine Dragons, led a documentary that explored how the Church treats its LGBTQ members. The film, Believer, premiered on HBO.

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Glen Nelson
June 24

Calvin Fletcher, born on this day (1882), led the Utah art movement from Impressionism to Modern Expressionism from the 1920s to 1940s. He was also the head of the art department at Utah State University for 40 years, and it was said that "he has probably done more than any other individual to build the art program at Utah State University." Whether from an artistic or an educational standpoint, Fletcher ushered in modern art to the Utahn community and to emerging artistic minds.

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Glen Nelson
June 23

Painters John Hafen, John Fairbanks, and Lorus Pratt, having been set apart to study painting in Paris for the purpose of creating the Salt Lake Temple murals, set sail on this date (1890). Their immersion in academic painting and Impressionism at the Julian Academy sets the course for a generation of artists to study in Europe before the war and in New York City, thereafter. See Harvesting the Light: The Paris Art Mission and Beginnings of Utah Impressionism, by Linda Jones Gibbs, (Salt Lake City: Corporation of the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints), 1987.

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Glen Nelson
June 22

Brandon Flowers and his band, The Killers, headline the 90,000 seat Wembley Stadium on this day (2013). The singer, songwriter has released five chart-topping band albums and two solo albums. Hot Fuss, the band's debut album, has sold over 5,000,000 copies.

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Glen Nelson
June 20

President Heber J Grant dedicated the Angel Moroni Statue atop the Hill Cumorah today in 1935. The statue stands just outside of Palmyra, New York on top of a 25-foot slab of granite, and the bronze figure of Moroni stands at ten feet tall, holding a replica of the golden plates.

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Glen Nelson
June 18

Composer and professor Merril Bradshaw was born today in 1929. He taught at BYU for many years and was also a composer-in-residence for the university. He condemned sentimental or merely entertaining music, but believed that Mormon art could encompass many themes and would not be limited to one style.

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Glen Nelson
June 16

On Mount Eskel in the land of Danland, fourteen-year old Miri first appeared in print on this day (2005). The fantasy novel was Princess Academy by Shannon Hale, and it earned a Newbery Honor and a spot on The New York Times' bestseller list.

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Glen Nelson