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Posted 02 May 2001   For week ended April 27, 2001
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Sent on Mormon-News: 30Apr01

By Paul Carter

Unique LDS Architecture Exhibited at BYU

PROVO, UTAH -- "Mormon Moderne: New Directions in Latter-day Saint Architecture, 1890-1955" is the current exhibit of the Brigham Young University Museum of Art. It will run through the Spring of 2002 and showcases architectural features such as windows, woodwork and stonework, along with photographs and drawings that present the multiple architectural styles incorporated in LDS church buildings of the first half of the 20th century.

While most church members easily recognize the standard designs of church buildings of the 1960s and later, this exhibit portrays very unique constructions from an earlier time when LDS congregations contracted with individual architect firms to build meetinghouses. Church architects in Salt Lake City also included in general church buildings (such as temples constructed during this time) many ideas from contemporary architectural styles and design trends. In all, about 200 buildings with their design elements are presented in the exhibit.

"There is a much richer architectural heritage in Mormonism than most people realize," says Paul L. Anderson of BYU and curator of the exhibit. "People tend to think of Mormon architecture as sort of predictable and standardized. At the first half of the last century, it was far from that."

The exhibit includes examples of Art Deco, International Style, the Prairie Style of Frank Lloyd Wright, as well as structural embellishments such as Romanesque archways, Baroque gables and stained-glass windows in Gothic style.

Comments Mr. Anderson, "You don't expect to find an important early example of Frank Lloyd Wright design in Parowan, Utah, or in Montpelier, Idaho. But they're there. The architects were quite aware of the design movements going on around the country and were trying to apply the best architectural ideas to Mormon buildings."

Exhibit-goers will find Frank Lloyd Wright's Prairie Style influence in the Cardston Alberta Temple, built in 1912, as well as some of the tabernacles built into the 1920s. Art Deco patterns are evident in the Idaho Falls Temple built in 1937 and the Spanish Colonial styles have been incorporated in meetinghouses of LDS congregations in Arizona and California.

The years presented in the exhibit have come to be referred to as the "Golden Age of Mormon architecture. "We're documenting this part of our culture," says Anderson. "But its interest goes beyond the Mormon community. Together [these buildings] tell a story of how Utah changed from being an isolated place cut off from society to becoming completely integrated into American life."


Exhibit Celebrates Diverse LDS Architecture
Salt Lake Tribune 22Apr01 A1
By Brandon Griggs: Salt Lake Tribune


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