Center for Latter-day Saint Arts


The Kimball Challenge at Fifty: Mormon Arts Center Essays

The Kimball Challenge at Fifty: Mormon Arts Center Essays

9.95 16.95

Collected essays by: Terryl Givens, Paul L. Anderson, Richard Bushman, Campbell Gray, Kristine Haglund, Jared Hickman, Michael Hicks, Kent S. Larsen, Adam S. Miller, Glen Nelson, Steven L. Peck, John Durham Peters, Jana Riess, Eric Samuelsen, and Nathan Thatcher.

Softcover: 156 pages, published by the Mormon Arts Center, 2017.

Presentations delivered at the 2017 Mormon Arts Center Festival at Riverside Church, New York, New York.

June 28-July 1, 2017 marked the first Mormon Arts Center Festival. Held in the Riverside Church in New York City, the event gathered together eminent scholars, artists, and musicians for an exploration of fine art by LDS members. 
The theme of the Festival was a speech given fifty years ago by Spencer W. Kimball, “Education for Eternity” at the beginning of the academic year at Brigham Young University, September 1967. He suggested that Mormon culture might produce our own Shakespeares, Michelangelos, and Goethes. Ten years later, President Kimball wrote a new introduction for the speech, which was published in the Ensign magazine and has become a touchstone for many of the faith’s creative artists. He said, “In our world, there have risen brilliant stars in drama, music, literature, sculpture, painting, science, and all the graces. For long years I have had a vision of members of the Church greatly increasing their already strong position of excellent till the eyes of all the world will be upon us.” 

Scholars invited to present papers at the Mormon Arts Center Festival delved into questions of the relevance of such ideas today. Their essays are collected in this volume. As Richard Bushman, who was present at the 1967 speech, writes in the introduction, “The question will remain for people with religious natures: How can faith be integrated with culture? The desire to know God is so powerful that it seeks expression in every realm of life. The arts with their intimate access to our deepest feelings must, we think, inevitably connect with our faith. The speakers in the symposium offer a variety of answers to how this may be accomplished by Mormons. As these essays show, Mormonism may not yet have produced a Michelangelo or a Goethe, but we do believe our religion and our art belong together.”

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