A little over a year ago, the Church History Museum unveiled “The Heavens Are Opened,” a new interactive art and artifact exhibit that walked viewers through the early days of the Church through the martrydom. While that period is of course vital to our history, it is far from the complete story of the Latter-day Saints.
A new exhibition, “Saints At Devil’s Gate”, continues the Mormon story as the Saints traveled to the Salt Lake Valley.The exhibition consists of landscape paintings — all composed within the last few years — of various places along the route west, accompanied by quotes from pioneers as they traveled past those places. But the exhibition is also unique because it features the first art book published by the Church Historian’s Press; it contains the paintings of the exhibition but also more historical context and interviews with the artists. I was able to interview Eric Smith, an editorial manager with the Church Historian’s Press, Laura Hurtado, global acquisitions curator for art in the Church History Department, and Bryon Andreasen, historian at the Church History Museum, about how the exhibition came to be, and how the Church History Museum works to bring together art, history and religion in new ways.
The exhibition opens November 17.