SPRINGVILLE, Utah — In 1918 Cyrus E. Dallin created "The Spirit of Life," a bronze
sculpture that is now a focal point in the Stewart Sculpture Garden, a new
addition to the Springville Museum of Art.
On Tuesday his namesake, Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve of
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints dedicated the new garden.__IMAGE1__He also rededicated the museum, which then-Elder David O. McKay
originally dedicated as a "sanctuary of beauty" in 1937. Elder Oaks repeated
those words in his short dedicatory prayer and then blessed the
Years earlier Cyrus E. Dallin used his own mother as the model when he sculpted the
pioneer mother statue, which is in Springville's city park, Elder Oaks said.
An expectant mother sat on a ditch bank listening and watching with 10,000
other people as the artist unveiled the statue July 25, 1932, then 18 days later
she gave birth to the future apostle.
"That was where my name Dallin comes from," Elder Oaks said.
His mother was a devoted fan of the artist.
During his growing-up years, Elder Oaks' mother brought him and his younger
siblings to the museum almost as an annual summer event when they lived in Twin
Falls, Idaho, and then nearby Payson.
Lt. Gov. Gary Herbert called the museum one of Utah's treasures, adding that
he would not have appreciation for the arts were it not for his mother.
The arts are important, he said, because society isn't as refined as it once
"Museums uplift and motivate us," he said, "and helps us become creative and
The sculpture garden, which also holds works by Mahonri M. Young, Avard F.
Fairbanks, Anna Coleman Ladd and many others, is on the south side of the museum
using as its back wall the wall of the neighboring gymnasium and Cherry Creek
Building the Spanish revival sculpture garden, enclosed on the east and west
with new walls, "started as a modest project and got grander and grander, "
Springville Museum of Art Association member Diane Carr said. Planning began in
2005 with much of the construction completed during the past year.
Museum director Vern Swanson paid homage to Dallin, who with artist John
Hafen started the art movement in Springville. The museum grew out of that
movement, built during the Great Depression. Dallin later relocated to Boston
where he set up his studio.
David Cook, past president of the museum association, presented the sculpture
garden to the city and City Councilman Phil Bird, a member of the association
board.Comment on this story
Utah County Commissioner Gary Anderson honored the donors and volunteers who
built the garden, which is named after major donors Diane and Sam Stewart. None
of the money came from taxpayers, Bird said.