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
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
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