SALT LAKE CITY — Earlier this summer, two exhibitions at the Church History Museum opened in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the partnership between the Boy Scouts of America and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
One exhibit features original works by American artist Norman Rockwell, and the other was designed around the history and relationship between Scouting and the LDS Church.
Both exhibits have been popular, said Ray Halls, a curator of education and exhibitions at the Church History Museum.
"We've had a really great summer," Halls said. "There has been a lot of positive responses, and they have been really well received. We've had a lot of Scout troops."
Patrick Dunshee, a manager of marketing and communications at the Church History Library, agreed.
"The exhibit had a great opening and has continued to be popular with visitors," Dunshee said. "The combination has brought in a diverse group of people to the museum."
The Rockwell exhibit, which continues through Dec. 31, features the work of one of the most well-known American artists of the 20th century. Rockwell began as a staff artist for Boy's Life magazine in 1912. He produced one cover picture and a set of story illustrations per monthly issue, which eventually led to him illustrating 50 annual Boy Scout calendars, the last published in 1976.
Twenty-three of his original works, along with numerous covers of Boy's Life magazine, are on display in the museum.
"It's significant. He was a major art player and his legacy lives on," Halls said. "A lot of people who love his art have come. We appreciate the fact that Salt Lake City is hosting a Norman Rockwell exhibit."
"Viewing this exhibit in combination with the 100th anniversary Boy Scout exhibit is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for anyone whose life has been influenced by Scouting or the art of Norman Rockwell," Dunshee said.
The second exhibit, "A Good Turn Daily: 100 Years of Scouting and the Aaronic Priesthood," continues through April 14, 2014. It takes visitors through a century of Scouting, from the Boy Scout program coming to America and forming a partnership with the LDS Church in 1913 to the present day.
The exhibit includes activities where visitors can learn the art of flag signaling, study animal tracks, play Scouting Bingo and tie knots, along with other activities.
Several Scouts have participated in the museum exhibits to pass off requirements for the art and Scouting heritage merit badges. Cub Scouts from the Great Salt Lake Council also have used the exhibit to enhance their Scouting experience, Halls said.
"It's been a lot of fun to see the Scouts come through and see the exhibits," Halls said. "It’s pretty significant."
Today, there are more than 400,000 Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts in the church, which is also the largest chartered organization of the Boy Scouts of America.
The Church History Museum is open weekdays, 9 a.m.-9 p.m., and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays.
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