Jason Olson, Deseret News
Starting in 1953, artist Arnold Friberg spent three years in Hollywood as filmmaker Cecil B. DeMille's chief artist for the epic motion picture, "The Ten Commandments." Friberg would gain notoriety for 15 pre-visualization paintings which were used to promote the film worldwide.
More than 50 years later, those scenes painted by Friberg are still known to those who traditionally watch the movie each Easter on network television.
This year will be extra special because it marks Friberg's 100th birthday. To commemorate the late artist's life and legacy, Friberg Fine Art is offering a free e-book download of “The Stories of Moses and the Ten Commandments” from its website, fribergfineart.com. The stories contained in this e-book are illustrated with biblical art by Friberg, who died in 2010.
"We want to let people know it's his 100th birthday this year. This is the kickoff week," said Gary Fornia, marketing director for Friberg Fine Art.
"The Ten Commandments" will be broadcast on ABC stations (in Utah, KTVX ABC 4) March 30 at 6 p.m. The film is a dramatization of the biblical story of the Exodus, in which the Hebrew-born Moses, an adopted Egyptian prince, becomes the deliverer of the Hebrew slaves. Charlton Heston starred in the role of Moses. The film received seven Academy Award nominations including Best Picture, and won the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects.
The e-book is part of an extended celebration of Friberg's life. Later this year, Friberg Fine Art will display more than 75 Friberg paintings, including his 1975 painting, "The Prayer at Valley Forge," a depiction of George Washington praying at Valley Forge, at an art exhibition at The Gateway in Salt Lake City. The exhibit will include each of the 15 original paintings, plus a series of sketches Mr. Friberg created for "The Ten Commandments." The exhibit opens Oct. 1 and continues through Jan. 1, 2014.
"The celebration of his life and legacy culminates with the art exhibit. It's a 90-day show, New York style museum, professionally curated, going on a multi-city, multi-year tour, and it starts here in Salt Lake," Fornia said.
Carolyn Dominy, the executive director of Friberg Fine art, said his family is excited to celebrate Friberg's life work.
"It's really a joy for us to be able to show what one man did during his lifetime, what he was able to accomplish," Dominy said. "We hope it's really an encouragement to other people that if you have a dream, it's never too late to pursue it."
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