Book of Mormon digital visual art catalog launches Monday
Oct 3, 2022, 5:30 PM
PROVO, Utah — A digital catalog of visual art inspired by the Book of Mormon became available Monday, Oct. 3. It allows users to search through more than 2,000 pieces of art in both public and private collections, museums and the holdings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
According to a news release, the Book of Mormon Art Catalog is the first permanent database of its kind.
In addition to visual art, the catalog website features information about each piece. This includes the artist, owner, scripture references, figures, and symbols. Links to where the image is used in church media or has appeared in other publications are also available.
“This archive is a welcomed and timely blending of the scholarly and the inspiring. It’s a resource I’m glad both Saints and scholars now have at their fingertips,” said Spencer Fluhman, Executive Director of the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship at Brigham Young University in the news release.
How the visual art catalog came to be
According to the news release, the catalog is directed by art historian Jennifer Champoux. It is funded with a grant from the Laura F. Willes Center for Book of Mormon Studies within the Maxwell Institute at BYU. Champoux’s goal is to “support research and education, promote a greater knowledge of artists worldwide and provide a study and devotional resource.”
The idea came to Champoux when she was writing a history of Latter-day Saint visual art. Conducting research for the project, she said, was difficult.
“One scholar simply can’t find all the art on a particular Book of Mormon scene because there are so many sources to search through, many inaccessible to the public,” Champoux said in the news release. “It was clear that a centralization project would be valuable for both scholars and church members.”
Champoux said the catalog will highlight the diversity of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
“From New York to Hong Kong and Argentina to Utah, Saints around the world are translating the Book of Mormon into visual media,” she said. “It’s inspiring to see the variety of interpretations and approaches in the art.”
The catalog is an ongoing project
Champoux and a team of BYU students will continue to add to the catalog as time goes on.
“We see this as a collaborative, open-ended project that will continue to grow over time,” she said. “We encourage people to enjoy browsing the catalog and to send in suggestions for additional artworks or information that could be added.”
The Maxwell Institute will host a public launch event at BYU on Wednesday, Oct. 5. Champoux will give a talk at 3 p.m., introducing the visual art catalog in BYU’s Zion Auditorium.
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