Mormon Arts Center

On This Day...

A DAILY FACTOID OF OUR ART HISTORY

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
Dec. 12

Bookcraft, a major publisher of LDS books, was established on this day (1942). Its first publication was a selection of writing by John Taylor, The Gospel Kingdom. Many notable works followed, including books by Hugh Nibley, Bruce R. McConkie, Spencer W. Kimball, Boyd K. Packer, Eugene England, Leornard J. Arrington, Truman G. Madsen, and Gerald R. Lund.

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Glen Nelson
Dec. 11

Matt Bowman, author of The Mormon People: the making of an American faith (Random House, 2012) was born on this day (1979). His most recent book is Christian: The Politics of a Word in America (Harvard, 2018).

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Glen Nelson
Dec. 10

The Sierra Nevada Mormon Pioneers, a live reenactment of the Mormon Battalion, was recognized by the Folsom City mayor and city council on this day (2014). The annual parade was started in 2001 by Wayne Spence.

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Glen Nelson
Dec. 9

Metropolitan Opera star Erin Morley relished on this day (2018) that the Met's recording of Der Rosenkavalier (in which she sang the role of Sophie) was nominated for a 2019 Grammy Award (Best Opera Recording). Morley has sung the role at the Vienna State Opera and the Metropolitan Opera.

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Glen Nelson
Dec. 8

Lansing McLoskey learned on this day (2018) that the recording of his oratorio, Zealot Canticles (texts by Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka) was nominated for a 2019 Grammy Award (Classical: Best Choral Performance). The oratorio is described as a plea for tolerance.

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Glen Nelson
Dec. 7

Stuart Wheeler, composer and singer-songwriter of the Indie band, Quiet House, was born on this day (1991). He is a founding artist of the Deseret Experimental Opera Company and has written music for chorus, chamber ensembles, and gamelan.

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Glen Nelson
Dec. 6

The Christmas season was ushered in on this day (2015) by tens of thousands of Latter-day Saints at the annual First Presidency's Christmas Devotional. This year, it was held December 2.

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Glen Nelson
Dec. 4

Poet and scholar on the subject of Contemporary Mormon poetry, Tyler Chadwick was born on this day (1979). The book that he edited, Fire in the Pasture: 21st Century Mormon Poets, is an anthology of living LDS 82 poets.

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Glen Nelson