Mormon Arts Center

On This Day...

A DAILY FACTOID OF OUR ART HISTORY

Jan. 14

Lex de Azevedo was born on this day (1943). Son of one of the King Sisters, he composed the music for the popular musical and film, Saturday’s Warrior (1973) (book and lyrics by Douglas Stewart). The story, inspired by Nephi Anderson’s Added Upon (1898), follows a family throughout their premortal to mortal existences and beyond. De Azevedo has also been nominated for a Golden Globe and has served as musical director for The Sonny & Cher Show, and for the Jackson Five and the Osmonds.

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Glen Nelson
Jan. 12

A group of nine artists whose modern works had been victims of censorship and criticism, including George Dibble, Calvin Fletcher, and Henry Rasmussen, wrote a document that came to be known as the "Modern Art Manifesto." Based on its philosophies of developing Modernism in Utah, the Utah State Art Center held an exhibition surrounding this day (1942) to show what they were trying to achieve.

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Glen Nelson
Jan . 11

In addition to being in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, George Q. Cannon (who was born on this day, 1827) had a long career in publishing that he used to support the Church. He was an editor of the Deseret News, published the Juvenile Instructor, started the Western Standard newspaper, and assisted in the publishing of the Times and Seasons and the Nauvoo Neighbor. His other books and articles about the Church were intended to help the youth and educate the general public about the Mormons.

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Glen Nelson
Jan. 9

The Naked Communist (1958) author, W. Cleon Skousen died on this day (2006). Politically conservative and fiercely anti-communist, Skousen 's books became lightning rods between political parties.

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Glen Nelson
Jan. 8

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra performed Stephen Jones' work, At the exactest point, on this day (2004). Commissioned by the Orchestra in 1998, the 18-minute work was recorded by Tantara records.

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Glen Nelson
Jan. 7

Joseph Alma Freestone Everett was born on this day, in Salt Lake City (1883). Everett was a painter and teacher, even giving private art lessons to the children of President Heber J Grant, and was known as one of the most beloved artists that ever came from Utah.

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Glen Nelson
Jan. 6

On this day (2018) the Robb Report announced that penmaker David Oscarson won its annual Best of the Best award for the fourth time. Exquisite craftsmanship and old-world virtuosity combined in his Russian Imperial collection, created on the 100th anniversary of the Romanov family's abdication from the throne. Russian Imperial was Oscarson's 28th limited edition pen series.

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Glen Nelson
Jan. 5

Douglas Thayer's novel, The Tree House was published on this day (2009). Drawing from the author's experience as a missionary in Germany, the novel--considered by some to be the best Mormon novel to date--follows Harris Thatcher's mission in post-war Germany and then his own harrowing war service in Korea.

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Glen Nelson
Jan. 3

TV producer and writer Glen A. Larson was born on this day (1937). After an early career as a singer/composer, he developed the following shows as writer or executive producer: The Six Million Dollar Man, Battlestar Galactica, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, Quincy, M.E., The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries, Magnum, P.I., Knight Rider, and other hits.

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Glen Nelson
Jan. 2

Alice Merrill Horne, the greatest of the early Utah artist advocates was born on this day (1868). Art gallerist, state legislator, author, general Relief Society board member, teacher and activist, Horne created legislation to establish Utah's state art collection and art institute and was an influential advocate, particularly for visual artists, without peer.

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Glen Nelson
Jan. 1

“Scott Sterling and his face of steel!” was but a gleam in BYU-TV’s eye on this day (2000), when the cable channel debuted. Owned and operated by Brigham Young University, BYU-TV produces family oriented original series including Studio C, reality programs, documentaries, sporting events, and film

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Glen Nelson
Dec. 29

Crawford Gates, born today in 1921, was a musician, composer, and conductor who contributed much to the body of Latter-day Saint music. His combined academic and conducting careers span more than thirty years, and Gates composed and arranged nearly 900 works including orchestral works, musical scores, and hymns.

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Glen Nelson
Dec. 27

Elfie Caroline Huntington was born on this day (1868). Having lost her hearing from scarlet fever at the age of four, she studied photography with George Edward Anderson and opened a studio with Joseph Daniel Bagley, whom she married at the age of 68. Her thousands of studio photographs and travel images comprise a brilliant look at life in early Utah.

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Glen Nelson
Dec. 25

Promised Valley Playhouse (original known as the Orpheum Theatre) opened on this day (1905). It was Salt Lake City's first vaudeville theater. Later converted to a movie theater, it was purchased by the Church in 1971, after which it was restored and rechristened the Promised Valley Playhouse, used for local development of of plays and musicals. The building was demolished in 2003.

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Glen Nelson
Dec. 21

Early Utah painter and photographer George Beard was born on this day (1854 or 1855). The son of British coal miners, Beard immigrated to America and lived in Coalville, Utah. Largely self-taught, he studied with C. R. Savage and captured the landscapes of the west.

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Glen Nelson
Dec. 19

Laurence Kim Peek died on this day, 2009. Peek inspired the role of Raymond Babbitt in the movie Rain Man (1988), about a man with Savant Syndrome, played by Dustin Hoffman, who won an Oscar for his performance. The screenwriter, Barry Morrow, wrote an earlier made-for-television film, Bill, about Peek, starring Mickey Rooney (1981).

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Glen Nelson
Dec. 16

Artist Annie Poon, whose award-winning stop-motion animations and paintings have graced film festival across the U.S., was born on this day (1977). Her work is in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, The Church History Museum, and the Brigham Young Museum of Art.

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Glen Nelson
Dec. 15

Arthur Shepherd's Horizons: Symphony No. 1 premiered by the Cleveland Orchestra, with the composer conducting, on this day (1927). A tone poem (and love letter) to the west, it ends with a towering, symphonic arrangement of "The Spirit of God Like a Fire Is Burning." The work was performed repeatedly in 1929, 1930, and 1932 (European tour).

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Glen Nelson
Dec. 14

You may recognize the song "High On the Mountain Top" from Sunday meetings, but Ebenezer Beesley also wrote eleven other hymns for the LDS church, including "Sing We Now at Parting," "'Tis Sweet to Sing the Matchless Love" and "Reverently and Meekly Now." Born on this day (1840), he was also appointed by President John Taylor to oversee the publication of the first LDS Church hymnal to include music.

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Glen Nelson
Dec. 13

Artist William Dean Fausett, once named one of the ten best painters in America (Art News, 1940), died on this day (1998). His portraits of U.S. and LDS presidents, governors, and royalty distinguished him, as did landscapes and still lifes that are included in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum, Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Museum of Modern Art.

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Glen Nelson