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For week ended January 23, 2000 Posted 24 Feb 2001
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Summarized by Kent Larsen

Mahonri Young exhibit on display at Museum of Art
(BYU) NewsNet 19Jan00 A2
By Chaundra Wilson

PROVO, UTAH -- An exhibit of the work of LDS artist Mahonri Mackintosh Young is on display at BYU's Museum of Art, bolstered by his already familiar artwork that has made its way into LDS culture. Young is best known among Mormons as the sculptor of the "This is the Place" monument in Salt Lake City, the Seagull Monument on Temple Square and the statue of Brigham Young that stands overlooking the main part of BYU's campus.

However, the exhibit attempts to show the acclaim that Young has gained outside of Utah and Mormon culture. Exhibit co-curator Dawn Pheysey says, "Mahonri Young is not only a Utah artist, but he was nationally and internationally known. He received many national and international commissions and was an important part of American art history."

Young's biographer, and the other co-curator of the exhibit, Norma Davis, says that Mahonri was a colorful character, who loved food and cigars and wore specially made suits with extra-large pockets for carrying art supplies. He drew on just about anything, including prescriptions, paper bags and concert programs.

But Davis says that Young also had a moral center, "Young was a morally strong person; he believed in honesty and in the value of a human being."

Young's acclaim was gained in his work depicting the common people -- Native Americans, laborers, boxers, etc. Given a national commission to work on the lives and contributions of Native Americans, he put a lot of effort into depicting them.

After traveling to France, where he received training in painting and sculpture, Young returned to Utah, where he tried unsuccessfully to make a living with his art. When that failed, he moved to New York City, where he taught at the well-known Art Student's League. He died in 1957 on an estate in Wilton, Connecticut, which is now an artists retreat.


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