Charlton Heston as Nephi? Arnold Friberg's 'lost' Book of Mormon sketches to go on display

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  • suzyk#1 Mount Pleasant, UT
    Nov. 6, 2013 10:53 a.m.

    I enjoyed all the comments and critics. That's life...not all is positive and not all if negative. It's a good mix, as for Arnold Friberg - I think he was a genius at his talent. Not everyone agrees with art on canvas..that's what makes it wonderful is that is it different. Wouldn't it be boring if all art was the same dimension? My father was a incredible and humble artist who created masterpieces in my opinion. We can't all be the same because that is not the way the Lord planned it.

  • RianN Bountiful, UT
    Oct. 11, 2013 7:37 p.m.

    Here at "Lost Book of Mormon Sketches" we thank you all for your comments. Whether you have positive or constructive comments, we welcome them all. I know Arnold Friberg was an inspired illustrator and the Lord directed his hand, especially while sketching and painting the Book of Mormon art. I continue daily to be blessed with a stronger love and testimony of the Book of Mormon. In part because of this wonderful man. He also has a wonderful family and I am privileged to know them. Please visit our website and enjoy it as I have in creating it.

  • Kay The LDS Lacey, WA
    Sept. 30, 2013 5:04 p.m.

    Anyone that's an artist knows that sketches are supposed to look rough, and somewhat sloppy. Sketches are the rough draft of a final piece.

  • terra nova Park City, UT
    Sept. 29, 2013 10:42 p.m.

    I enjoyed Friberg's paintings and remember pouring over them when I was young. The idea that each man was clearly a world class weight lifter (except Abinadi and King Noah and maybe the Brother of Jared, though he wasn't small) never bothered me.

    Nor was it particularly important to me what color their eyes or skin were. It wasn't forensic art.

    He's an artist. He was free to interpret. Free to depict the soul and spirit into the flesh in any way he saw fit.

    And he did.

    But I guess, "haters gonna hate."

    I liked it.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Sept. 29, 2013 7:39 p.m.

    These sketches must be of the Scandinavian cast.

  • Mom of 8 Hyrum, UT
    Sept. 28, 2013 4:21 p.m.

    Many years ago my father, a graphic and retouch artist, ran into Bro. Friberg in the Visitor's Center on Temple Square. Bro. Friberg was evaluating a new frame or something for one of his paintings.

    They chatted about art for a time, until my dad finally got up the guts to say to the renowned artist what had been bothering him for years: "Bro. Friberg, while I admire your technique, I must say you don't always have a grasp of perspective. The dimensions on that figure are all wrong."

    Bro. Friberg delivered my father a withering look and said, "I painted it how it SHOULD have looked!"

    While much of what Bro. Friberg may not strike others as "historically accurate" (and my goodness were those Nephites and Lamanites beefy men!), I wholeheartedly agree that he painted the stories as they SHOULD appear.

    He gave life to the scriptures, and many other figures, and made them feel real.

  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    Sept. 28, 2013 12:52 p.m.

    Sorry about the two near duplicates above under my name. The first one, or the first half sentence of it appeared under "top comment" when there was only one other comment. It did not appear in the actual postings for some time so I tried to repeat it. DesNews graciously, or accidentally, after at time, posted both.

    Anyhow, seeing as I am here, I would point out that European Jewry does not appear out of place among the generality of white Caucasians. It does usually have white skin, so far as I have observed, and have, I am told, a greater number of red-haired individuals among them than any other people. There are also many dark-haired among them and Friberg actually does display in his Book of Mormon pictures both dark-haired and red-haired Nephites with white skins (check it out). That seems to me to be well-researched.

    Everyone in the Middle East does not have the same physical features. Although many are interrelated, Iranians, for example, see themselves as Caucasians. Middle easterners are a bit of a mix, not Negroid certainly and unlike most Orientals.

  • Hank Pym SLC, UT
    Sept. 28, 2013 11:40 a.m.

    I'm not a Forensic Anthropologist nor do I play one on TV, but...

    Portraying people from the Near East/Mediterranean as Anglo-Saxon Caucasians is erroneous and downright silly.

  • bw00ds Tucson, AZ
    Sept. 28, 2013 11:38 a.m.

    Gee, I wish I could doodle as poorly as he did.

    What kind of comment was that?

  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    Sept. 28, 2013 11:12 a.m.

    The fact that Arnold Friberg chose to depict Washington at Valley Forge as well as Book of Mormon characters tells me that he was a patriot and a devout LDS man.

    The fact that he also graciously accepted a commission to depict the current symbolic head of the British Empire also tells me that his is not a vitriolic or narrow nationalism. Would that others had his largeness of vision.

    Though some may not see the old Nephites as having the physiques of modern body builders, his seems to have been a view of a muscular patriotism and genuine devotion to Jesus Christ. The breastplate, a relic of Book of Mormon times, was that of "a man of extraordinary size" so you could extrapolate from that a nation of large, muscular men, though this is not a foregone conclusion.

    Be that as it may, Arnold Friberg will be honorably remembered for many years yet. There will doubtless be other artists with other emphases and their works will be forthcoming. Whether they will be as highly regarded as Mr Friberg remains to be seen.

  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    Sept. 28, 2013 10:36 a.m.

    Arnold Friberg chose to portray Washington at Valley Forge as well as Book of Mormon characters. To me that tells me that he was a patriotic man and a devout LDS member. The fact that he also graciously accepted a commission to paint the current figurehead of the British Empire, tells me that his was not a petty nationalism but a true patriotism to the ideals of freedom, rather than hostility to an old enemy and now a longtime ally. I wish more would enjoy that largeness of spirit.

    As to the largeness of his Book of Mormon men, perhaps that was based on the dimensions of the breastplate, a relic of Book of Mormon history, and described as that of "a man of extraordinary size". He built his own view of Nephite manhood, at least, as one in which the Nephite male physique was that of today's professional body builder. Be that as it may or may not be, his seems to have been a view of muscular Christianity and patriotism.

    I would like to see other views emphasizing other aspects and I am sure that they will be forthcoming, but Friberg will be honorably remembered.