Mormon Art and the Crucifixion

The Springville Museum of Art recently had an exhibit titled:  “Spiritual and Religious Art of Utah.”  According to Peggy Fletcher Stack writing in the SLTrib (21 Dec 2010):

In an unexpected twist, though, the two winning entries on display at the (museum) are depictions of Christ’s cricifixion and both artists are Mormons, a faith that has shied away from emphasizing the cross.

Their styles are completely different, yet each offers an evocative view that will likely move Christians of any cast.  And neither gives Jesus a face, letting viewers imagine their Savior’s agony in their own way.

Brian Kershisnik’s Christ is a white, lifeless body, cradled by grieving onlookers and mourned by weeping angels as it is handed down from the cross, while Adam Abram’s peice reveals only Christ’s feet during the crucifixion.

In the Jan 2011 Ensign on the last page, their is a small illustration of the crucifixion of Christ.

Robert Rees, in a presentation at the 2008 SLC Sunstone Symposium, suggested that the Mormon church’s ban on crosses and crucifixes may not have a strong basis in Mormon doctrine or history.  He indicated that he is personally inspired by the symbol of the cross and would like to see it have a more prominent spot in Mormon religiousity.  Rees suggests that the discrete wearing of a cross might be one avenue that could be explored.  His audience responded positively to his message.

Rees, in his presentation, pointed out that one of Brigham Young’s wives wears a cross in an historic photograph (it has subsequently been airbrushed out).  My father remembers remembers singing an “Old Rugged Cross” in church meetings during his mission in the 1940s in New England.

In you are Mormon, just something to think about.

This entry was posted in Art, images of Christ, mormonism. Bookmark the permalink.

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