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

Another Mahonri Young Exhibit in Connecticut
(At Weir Farm, the Bucolic Side of a Man)
New York Times pg19 23Jan00 A2
By William Zimmer

WILTON, CONNECTICUT -- While BYU's Museum of Art has a current exhibit on Mormon artist and Brigham Young grandson Mahonri Young, another exhibit on Young is underway at the Weir Farm National Historic Site, in Wilton Connecticut. Young lived at the farm from 1931 until his death in 1957, and where he sculpted the figures for the "This is the Place" monument and the marble statue of Brigham Young in the U.S. Capital's rotunda.

The farm is named for artist J. Alden Weir, an impressionist painter and supporter of the Arts Student League, where Young studied in the 1890s. Weir purchased the farm in 1882 and lived there until his death in 1919. Mahonri Young married Weir's second daughter, Dorothy, in 1931, and came to live on the farm, taking a red studio next to the studio Weir used.

The exhibition is much smaller than the BYU exhibition, but it includes a "bucolic, everyday side of the man." Most of the works in Wilton are sketches, never meant to be exhibited. But many of them can easily be regarded as finished works, and unlike in Mahonri Young's day, the art world now loves to display artist's unfinished work.

Interestingly, several of the drawings show men at work, typical of the social realistic style prevalent during the Great Depression. But Young's drawings reflect a cooperative spirit that isn't usually present in other social realist works, and may be more compatible with a Mormon background.

The Wilton exhibit, which continues through March 26th, also gives visitors the chance to see the space where Young worked, although there is little evidence of his presence at the moment. The studios are currently being used by Doris and Sperry Andrews, who purchased the farm from Young and have a lifetime tenancy agreement with the National Park Service. The Wilton Farm is one of only two national historic sites dedicated to the visual arts.

The exhibit "Mahonri Young and Branchville" continues through March 26th.


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