Cody Mural Art Conservation Examination, Cody Wyoming


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

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

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

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

Art conservation questions? Call Scott M. Haskins 805 564 3438 or
Art appraisal questions? Call Richard Holgate at 805 895 5121 or

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About Scott Haskins

Scott M. Haskins has been in the field of professional art conservation since 1975. He studied and worked doing mural and painting conservation in Italy until 1979. He headed up the painting conservation laboratory at Brigham Young University for the BYU Permanent Art Collection and the LDS HIstorical Department until 1984. He works from Santa Barbara, CA providing art conservation services nationwide. He is also the author of "How To Save Your Stuff From A Disaster."
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17 Responses to Cody Mural Art Conservation Examination, Cody Wyoming

  1. CortM says:

    My father-in-law, who died eighteen months ago, grew up in Cody. He loved talking about the Cody murals.

    Finding this post made my day — thank you!

  2. graham says:

    I went to Cody a few years back and had some great experiences exploring it, thanks for this great video and blog post.

  3. Shay says:

    Thanks for taking the time to write up this fascinating info. Great video too.

  4. Claire says:

    Thanks for a great post and video. Cody sounds very fascinating.

  5. Mary says:

    I am very anxious to visit Cody. Thanks for a great video and post.

  6. Charlotte says:

    The mural is incredible and I was moved to hear about its story. I hope they take good care of it during the renovation.

  7. Lynn says:

    What a wonderful video and the mural is just incredible. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Charles says:

    I hope to go see the mural this coming summer. It will be very interesting.

  9. Craig says:

    Fascinating. I went to Cody last year and saw the mural as well. What an excellent experience we had in that trip.

  10. Hal says:

    The video is greatly appreciated with all of the interesting information about the settlers. Thank you.

  11. Nancy says:

    What a fascinating video. Thanks for sharing.

  12. Tess says:

    Our family has seen this mural and believed that the message that they got from the mural was great for our kids. During the tour guide’s explanations, they were extremely attentive.

  13. Renee says:

    Last year on our vacation, my parents dragged us to the museum but I need to say I really liked seeing this mural in the dome.

  14. Chris says:

    We were extremely touched by the visitor’s center message about history as well as settling of the area. Saying it was an ordeal is an understatement.

  15. Jean says:

    Thank you so much for the video. Last summer, we saw this mural on our trip through Cody and I absolutely loved it.

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