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LDS News & Events

Artwork of Rediscovered Mormon Artist Joseph Paul Vorst on Display

Matthew Kennedy

An exhibition featuring the work of LDS artist Joseph Paul Vorst opens at the Church History Museum of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The display, titled “Joseph Paul Vorst: A Retrospective,” runs from November 9, 2017, through April 15, 2018. It features 111 works, including paintings, watercolors, drawings, lithographs and other works. Many have never been on exhibit.

“It really is an extraordinary event,” said Glen Nelson, cocurator of the exhibition. “This is the first time in 70 years since he died that all of these works that were exhibited in the most important museums in America have been brought together again.”

Vorst was born in Essen, Germany, in 1897 and died in 1947 after suffering a brain aneurism. He lived through two world wars and fought for the German army during World War 1. In 1924, he converted to Mormonism and immigrated to the United States in 1930 at the height of the Great Depression, settling in St. Louis, Missouri.

“Vorst's work is really interesting in the way that he takes art of his time and puts a religious spin on it,” explained Nelson.

“Some of the pervasive themes that you'll see in the artwork is messages of hope and of compassion for the downtrodden and real social observance. He was living through really trying times,” said Laura Allred Hurtado, global acquisitions art curator for the Church History Museum.

Nelson said Vorst was considered one of the most important painters in America in his day. “He died young and then his work sort of disappeared. And he also fell off the Church's radar.”

During his lifetime, Vorst exhibited widely in museums throughout America, showing his award-winning paintings and lithographs at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Library of Congress, the Carnegie Institute and many others.

Hurtado said the Mormon artist also displayed his works in Utah with Alice Merrill Horne at the old Deseret Gymnasium and the Springville Art Museum. LDS Art and LDS Temple art on display.

“Having these works in Salt Lake is amazing because they were first shown here,” said Nelson. “Eighty-three years ago he showed a group of religious artworks. … They're German expressionist style woodcuts based on the New Testament.”

But Nelson said Vorst’s family lost track of the works until they were located four years ago by one of his friends in Germany, who found them together in a small portfolio under consignment in a bookstore.

“They've only recently been rediscovered, and so this whole exhibition is kind of a reintroduction of his work to the Church and to Salt Lake City,” he said.

“The goal was to reintroduce him to our audiences today and reintroduce his legacy of hope and compassion and share the messages that he has to share,” said Hurtado.

Artworks on loan for the exhibition come from the Metropolitan Museum of Art; Museum of Modern Art; Saint Louis Art Museum; National Gallery of Art; Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art; St. Louis Post-Dispatch; St. Louis Mercantile Library at the University of Missouri–St. Louis; commercial galleries in Chicago and New York; private collections in the United States and Germany; and the permanent collection of the Church History Museum.

Nelson’s 250-page monograph, Joseph Paul Vorst, will be published to coincide with the retrospective exhibition.

 The museum is located at 45 West Temple Street on Temple Square in Salt Lake City.

Nauvoo Pageant Casting Call for 2018

NAUVOO NEWS: Come be a part of Nauvoo in a very special way - join the cast & crew of the Nauvoo Pageant.  Both the Nauvoo & British Pageants are currently accepting applications for those who would like to participate.  It's easy to apply online and applications are being accepted thru October 31, 2017. If you would like to be a part of the performance please visit and click on "Participate" on the top.  The Nauvoo Pageant needs families, couples, and individuals both on stage and in various areas of the pageant. 2018 Nauvoo Pageant Dates:  July 10 - August 4, 2018

2018 Nauvoo Pageant

The Nauvoo Pageant is a beautiful Broadway quality outdoor stage performance put on each summer in beautiful Nauvoo, Illinois by a cast and crew of over 1,100 people. The legacy of early Latter-day Saints in Nauvoo is told through song, dance, music and acting. The Pageant season brings historical vignettes in Old Nauvoo and the 1840s Frontier Country Fair as a fun and exciting part of the pageant's pre-show activities.

The Nauvoo Pageant season features two amazing musical productions:

The Nauvoo Pageant: Held on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays tells the story of early Latter-day Saint Church members who first settled the City of Nauvoo in 1839. It's full of music, singing, funny moments and a few tear jerkers.  You'll love the entire performance.

The British Pageant, “Truth Will Prevail,” held on Wednesdays and Fridays, tells the history of early Saints in the British Isles. With delightful music and acting that will touch your heart and put a smile on your face, you'll learn the true stories of some very amazing families that made the hard sacrifice to come to America and follow their faith.

Both the Nauvoo Pageant & the British pageants are based on actual journals and historic records from the 1800s.  You experience both traditional period music and dancing as well as amazing original music. Thousands visit Nauvoo each year to enjoy both performances.  While in Nauvoo your family can also take free wagin rides around the old Nauvoo historic town - experience period blacksmith and tin shops - visit the old Times & Seasons newspaper press or take you whole family to the Family living center for pioneer games and crafts: ALL FREE.   


The LDS Church Purchases the Book of Mormon Printer's Manuscript


INDEPENDENCE, MO:  Today the Community of Christ Church announced it has reached an agreement with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for the sale of the Book of Mormon Printer's Manuscript.  The agreement was announced via a worldwide webcast by the Community of Christ on their website.  

In 1841, Joseph Smith placed the original manuscript in the cornerstone of the Nauvoo House, a boarding house in Nauvoo, Illinois. "Several decades later, when the manuscript was pulled out, water had seeped into the cornerstone, and the manuscript had started to fall apart from the bottom up.” said Robin Scott Jensen, associate managing historian and project archivist for the Joseph Smith Papers project.

The sale of the manuscript was agreed to in part to relive the Community of Christ Church of financial obligations it has to its retired members who were under church employment.

QUOTE "A very special gratitude to the Community of Christ Church who has taken such wonderful care of the sacred history loved by so many.  From historic buildings to sacred texts, generations of faithful members of the Community of Christ have been careful and valiant stewards of such beautiful parts of our combined beloved history." - Matthew & Dena Kennedy

11th International LDS Art Competition Dates & Deadlines

Every three years, Latter-day Saint artists from around the world are encouraged to participate in a theme-based competition hosted by the Church History Museum in Salt Lake City. The purpose of this LDS Art competition is first, to showcase the breadth and diversity of Latter-day Saint artists, and second, to help develop the Church History Museum art collection through purchase awards. In fact, many well-beloved pieces of LDS artwork have come from these competitions.

11th International LDS Art Competition Details

  • Theme: Meditations on Belief: I will remember the works of the Lord: surely I will remember thy wonders of old. I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings (Psalm 77:11–12).
  • Submission dates: February 1, 2018–June 1, 2018
  • First round of jurying: June 2018
  • Second round of jurying: September 2018
  • Estimated exhibition dates: March 2019–October 2019


Eligibility and General Rules

  • The competition is open to all members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints age 18 and older (members must be age 18 by March 15, 2019).
  • Each artist may submit one work of art. Entries must be completed after 2015 and before the submission deadline.
  • The museum welcomes a variety of cultural and aesthetic traditions, styles, and artistic media. Media may include painting, drawing, textile arts, photography, printmaking, sculpture, glass, clay, ceramics, wood, leather, stone, metal, traditional and folk arts, mixed media, multimedia, video, film, and other forms. This competition excludes poetry, performance arts, and music.
  • The artwork cannot exceed 84 inches (213 cm), including the frame, in its longest dimension.
  • If selected for the second round of jurying, the artwork must arrive at the museum ready for display. The museum is not responsible for framing works of art or attaching hanging mechanisms to them.


The Jurying Process

  • The jury panel consists of five art professionals. These jurors come from different areas of the nation and the world. They represent diverse aesthetic training and expertise, including knowledge of international art, folk art, or cultural art.
  • A jury foreman provides instructions and a rubric to the jury and facilitates all jurying procedures in order to protect the integrity and reputation of the competition. However, the foreman does not have a contributing vote in the art selection process.
  • There are two rounds of jurying. In the first round, the jurors evaluate each submission using digital images or photographs of the artwork, as well as the artist’s statement, to determine which artworks will be shipped in for the second round. In the second round, the jurors evaluate the physical art objects to determine which artworks will be included in the exhibit.


Jurying Criteria

Jurors evaluate the artwork based on three criteria:

  • Artistic merit: The artwork has excellent aesthetic and technical accomplishment in the chosen medium. The formal artistic elements are of the highest quality. The material and method work to effectively articulate the overall message.
  • Innovation: The artwork has creativity or originality in concept, medium, and cultural context. The artwork explores a unique sense of culture, position, and innovative thinking. The individual expression is original, exceptional, and relevant. Overall, the work has a sense of surpassing other works in its ingenuity and style.
  • Thematic alignment: The artwork successfully expresses Latter-day Saint subject matter, aligns with the competition theme, and is paired with a strong artist’s statement. The point of view is unique and expansive. The artwork deepens the viewer’s understanding of the theme.



  • Merit awards: Winners receive a fixed monetary amount. The winners of these awards are selected by the jurors in recognition of the exceptional quality of their artwork.
  • Purchase awards: Some works of art will be purchased by the museum and added to the museum collection. These pieces are selected by the acquisitions art curator in consultation with others from the Church History Museum and the Church History Department Acquisition Board. Works of art purchased by the museum will not be eligible to receive a merit award.
  • Visitors’ choice awards: Visitors have the opportunity to vote for their favorite art pieces using kiosks in the gallery space and on the museum website. At the close of the exhibit, the artists whose work received the most votes will receive a monetary award. All art pieces will be eligible for visitors’ choice awards, even if they also received a merit award or a purchase award.


How to Participate in the Competition

  1. To participate in the competition, you will need an International Art Competition artist account. All communication regarding the competition will be sent to you by email. You will also use this account to submit an image of your artwork to the competition.

    Create or update your account by logging in to your International Art Competition artist account using your LDS Account username and password. If you do not have an LDS Account username and password, click here. You will need your membership record number, which can be found on your temple recommend or can be provided to you through your ward membership clerk.

  2. Once you are logged in to your LDS Account, please fill out or update your artist profile. This information is important in order for the museum to communicate with you about the competition and the results of each round of jurying.

  3. When the open submission period begins, you will be able to click Submission and fill out a submission form. You will also need to upload an image of your artwork.

  4. After the close of the submission period, the artwork will go through the first round of jurying. Depending on its score in the first round, the artwork may proceed to the second and final round of jurying. (For more information regarding the jurying process, please see the sections above entitled “The Jurying Process” and “Jurying Criteria.”)