When you walk into the space where this mural is located it catches you a bit by surprise! You are surrounded by the story and emotions of the mural because it is painted on the wall of a small round room with a dome. The painting is 9’ tall from bottom up to the curvature of the dome… so add another 5 ft? It bends around 80’ of the circumference of the room. Painted in 1951 by non member of the LDS Church Edward T. Grigware, the style of the painting is a modern style utilized in the 40′s, 50′s and 60′s that has a lot to do with illustration art. You may recognize the style as similar to ads from that period and illustration from magazines. I like the style a lot and immediately saw a stylistic similarity with the famous “Purpose of Life” mural that was painted in 1963 for the New York World’s Fair and was an illustration used in Man’s Search for Happiness. I rescued that mural from the Hyde Park Chapel last year where massive renovation took place to prepare for the 2012 Olympics. The Purpose of Life mural is in our art conservation lab right now, being prepared for installation on the BYU Idaho Campus eventually. To see a quick video of that mural removal process go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a_MRCf7uKEE
The Trust that oversees the maintenance and care of the famous and beloved Cody Mural in Cody, Wyoming is looking ahead at upgrading the systems (air conditioning, heating etc) in the Visitor’s Center. As a planning precaution, I was called to give them an art conservation professional evaluation of the condition of the mural, just in case the mural might prove to be too weak or have problems that would be impacted by the upgrades.
Well, good news to those who know and love this mural: 1) the mural is in great condition and 2) the Trust doesn’t want to put the mural in danger in any way.
While I was doing the evaluation, I took some photos and this is the short video review of my visit that I made:
I have been impressed at how many people far and wide know about this mural, love the subject of pioneer history and the history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and relate to how the mural tells the story of the sacrifices that the pioneers made in settling the West.
You’ll really enjoy the website that the visitor’s center has set up at http://www.codymural.com
Also, you will be interested, perhaps, in the continuing development of the Church History Department’s website within the larger LDS Church website. Go see it at http://history.lds.org
If you would like to see other mural conservation – restoration projects we have been involved with see some of our very interesting videos on the youTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/bestartdoc?feature=mhee
Art conservation questions? Call Scott M. Haskins 805 564 3438 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Art appraisal questions? Call Richard Holgate at 805 895 5121 or email@example.com
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