Minerva Teichert Red: New AMV t-shirt

Minerva Red

Click here to view the Minerva Red T-shirts (in black or white with sizes for men, women and children)

Remember Anneke’s awesome post about Minerva Teichert’s use of a particular shade of red and how she and her friend wished it came as a crayon? Well I suggested that it’d make for a great t-shirt, and Anneke, who is a design goddess, came through with a pop-art Minerva Red crayon design. I really like it. I like how it both celebrates and subverts latter-day pop art cute by paying homage to a preeminent, beloved LDS artist and her love for the Savior.

Here’s the link to the AMV Spreadshirt Store where the Minerva Red t-shirts can be purchased. The design is available on either black or white shirts, including three different styles for women and, for the first time — children’s sizes. Proceeds from the sales of Minerva Red products will be split between supporting the hosting costs for A Motley Vision and helping Anneke pay for grad school. Continue reading “Minerva Teichert Red: New AMV t-shirt”

A Survey of Mormon Comix by Theric Jepson

When I asked Theric Jepson to write a bit about Mormon graphic novels, I didn’t expect that he would launch a full on bibliographic project. But he did — and even though the results make for a very long post, it’s very much worth a read. Indeed, it’s quite the amazing project and must have taken quite some time to put together. Thanks, Theric. ~Wm Morris

I’m also going to make you click through for the full post because the “more” tag seems to be causing some problems with the special formatting for the post.

Continue reading “A Survey of Mormon Comix by Theric Jepson”

For AMV’s Minerva Teichert Fans

Announcing the Minerva Teichert Invitational Show, August 15-16, in Cokeville, Wyoming. Cokeville is Minerva’s hometown.

Wyoming artist Charles Dayton, the show’s organizer as well as one of its participating artists, says, “We have been able to exhibit 20-30 Minverva Teichert originals from the families’ and friends’ collections.”

“Periodically,” he remarks, “someone will bring a painting to the show that has never been publicly displayed.”

The show’s goals include being “the least pretentious art show that artists and patrons will attend all year” and placing Teichert’s paintings “in the context in which they were created.” Attendees will “have an opportunity to visit her home (with murals still on the walls), meet her family, friends and students and breathe in the atmosphere of this cowboy community.”

Events include:

  • Tours of the Teichert home
  • Minerva Teichert painting exhibit (public and private collections)
  • Presentation by Julie Rogers — Painter of the pioneer experience
  • Friday evening silent auction and barbeque
  • Plein air demonstrations by Michael Ome Untiedt, noted Colorado artist
  • Artist demonstrations Friday and Saturday

For a schedule of events and lodging information, go here. The site will be updated as arrangements are settled.

Dayton remarks that Minerva was “a remarkably generous woman. My grandmother once commented on how much she liked a large floral painting so Minerva gave it to her.”

For a peek at Charles Dayton’s original western and wildlife paintings, go here. A descendent of Mormon pioneers who colonized the high-mountain valleys in Idaho, Utah and Wyoming, Dayton left an organizational consultant career to pursue his destiny as a painter of western scenes and wildlife.

To read more about Dayton’s life and what motivates his art, go here.

To see an online gallery exhibit of Julie Rogers’ art, go here.

To learn more about Michael Ome Untiedt and his work, go here.

Mormon Art in Belbury

I’d been reading medieval Japanese literature for a few weeks (ah, the joys of going back to school) and really didn’t have time to pick up a novel, but it was a bit of an emotional and social necessity. So I walked down to the library on a warm summer evening a few weeks ago and looked for a copy of That Hideous Strength, the third and final book in C.S. Lewis’s space trilogy. I own a copy of my own, but most of my books are in a storage unit until I can finally live somewhere that allows me to have furniture. It vexes. But I digress.

I fear the connection here may seem tenuous. Lewis is not, after all, a Mormon author, as much as we’d long to appropriate him. But neither was the art exhibition I had looked forward to actually Mormon art. Come to think of it, the only Mormon factor in this entire train of thought is me. Let’s see how far-fetched we can get.

The most recent exhibition to open at the BYU Museum of Art is quite a departure from their previous featured exhibitions. Beholding Salvation was a collection so doctrine-centric that it seemed to pay no heed to any sort of artistic cohesion. Not that I’m criticizing – there is room for this unique curatorial approach, especially in the peculiarly insular Utah art scene. It was extremely popular with the viewing public, even (especially?) those who don’t usually consider themselves part of the Art Elite. Last year, they featured Pageants in Paint, a huge retrospective of Minerva Teichert’s work. Again – clearly Mormon art – but it was an exhibition that featured wonderful scholarship and a thematic cohesion that’s nice to see at the MoA. Last week, their newest exhibit opened: Turning Point: The Demise of Modernism and the Rebirth of Meaning in American Art. This exhibit makes no claims to be Mormon, nor does it take into consideration at all the doctrinal or even cultural foundations of Mormonism. It just happens to be in Utah. And it’s fairly successful, for what it is. It makes a clean, concise, didactic little statement about what happened to the Art Establishment in the 60s. It re-hashes Clement Greenberg. They even managed to get a Frank Stella piece on loan and it’s awful pretty. The exhibition as a whole is every bit as thought-provoking as minimalist statements and cultureless attempts at conceptual art tend to be. Which is, to say, it is entirely bankrupt of meaning and soul and it casts a dramatic spotlight across the gulf that separates Mormonism as a worldview from the secular fine art establishment.

Continue reading “Mormon Art in Belbury”

Minerva Teichert’s subtle Book of Mormon lessons

The August issue of the Ensign features four pages of photos of Minerva Teichert’s Book of Mormon work. Each work has a caption next to it with the title as well as an excerpt from a Book of Mormon verse. Titled “And Thus We See,” the article states that “lessons learned from stories in the Book of Mormon are sometimes clearly stated after words ‘and thus we see’ … yet other lessons learned from the Book of Mormon may be more subtly taught” (40).

Readers are then urged to “turn to the scriptures for the full account of each story” depicted by Teichert and “identify the powerful lesson each story teaches” (40).

Of the nine works represented in the article, I had only previously seen four of them. I was particularly struck by “The Earthquake” (Alma the Younger and Amulek in prison), “Treachery of Amalickiah” and “Trial of Abinidi.”

The Ensign‘s art direction is sometimes criticized in Mormon cultural circles. Often justly. But I think it should also be applauded when it delivers. Yes, readers are asked to learn lessons from the cited scriptures, but the focus on Teichert’s work is also a powerful reminder that these same words have inspired wonderful art. And this is especially true since her work isn’t necessarily as easy to digest as most of the other paintings that appear in the Ensign. Or at least it isn’t for me.

The August issue hasn’t been posted online yet, but here is a link to Minerva Teichert’s Book of Mormon works (BYU Museum of Art). Note that there are 45 results that come up with that search so hopefully the Ensign does the same exact story in three to four years, but with a different set of paintings.

Minerva Red

At the risk of beating a topic into the ground, I have one more observation on Minerva Teichert. Last week I again found myself in Provo on a quick trip and ended up with two close college friends to entertain and an hour to kill. So I took them to see Pageants in Paint. They both enjoyed the exhibit, and while we waited for Abby, who was contemplating the duo of paintings Squaws and Braves (which have been posthumously euphemistically renamed), Kristin and I sat in front of the Book of Mormon frieze and chatted about the exhibition.

 We decided, among other things, that Teichert deserves her own crayon. I’ll write to Crayola and try to negotiate the deal. But I want my own personal Minerva Red next time I sit down to color. Continue reading “Minerva Red”

Minerva Teichert. The History Painter?

Of all the genres of art we are now familiar with, all but a very few are products of modernism and the bourgeois takeover of the art world in the 20th century. Portraiture, landscape, still life: all of these artistic staples were once considered the low, crass art of those who painted with motives no nobler than wanting to make a daily wage. In the Academic European art world, only one genre was really given much credulity, at least until the more revolutionary currents that would define the industrial world would come to power in later years. This genre was History Painting, the grand, noble task of representing not only human “history,” but philosophy, mythology and allegory. Any painter could reproduce a pretty face or a plate of fruit, but it took a master artist to capture the humanist values that defined European culture. And most of the time that artist was a man.

Continue reading “Minerva Teichert. The History Painter?”