Story Behind the Art
Painter of Scripture
Arnold Friberg’s timeless depictions of scenes from the Book of Mormon have touched the hearts of millions since they were first painted in the 1960s. Near the end of his life, Friberg personally oversaw a limited production of brilliant, detailed lithograph prints, which he individually numbered and signed before his passing in 2010.
A Printed Legacy
Each of the 12 images was painstakingly reproduced under the masterful eye of Arnold Friberg. He personally approved each press run to assure that the brilliance and detail of every original was captured. Then before his death in 2010, he personally signed and numbered each of the prints.
A Deeper History
There is a widespread misconception that these paintings were commissioned by the church. They were not. They were commissioned by Adele Cannon Howells, General President of the Primary from 1943 – 1951. It is of historical importance that this project was entirely her effort. She conceived of it, she bulled it through against hesitancy and opposition, and above all she personally paid for it, as a donation to the church.
Throughout all the painting days, the artist never forgot that Sister Howells’ last act on earth, the night she died, was to arrange for the sale of some property to pay for the project. She never lived to see even the first painting done, and it was the memory of her dedication that strengthened Friberg to push the series through to full realization.
It is only right that she receive credit for this historic undertaking. For without her vision, her generosity, and her dogged determination, these paintings would never have existed.