Associating with Friberg Fine Art

Arnold Friberg’s paintings have always captivated my imagination. Being a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I have especially loved his series of Book of Mormon paintings. My fascination with the Book of Mormon paintings led me to write a Deseret News article with unique insights into how he created these timeless pieces.

Arnold Friberg's Book of Mormon paintings are on display in the Conference Center in Salt lake City. (Deseret News/Laura Seitz)

Arnold Friberg’s Book of Mormon paintings are on display in the Conference Center in Salt lake City. (Deseret News/Laura Seitz)

When Friberg was working on the Book of Mormon series, many suggested that he should illustrate great sermons, such as those given by Alma and King Benjamin. While Friberg acknowledged the inspiring sermons, “he wanted to paint heroes that appeared legendary in stature.” From that basis came the 12 powerful scenes.

“The muscularity in my paintings is only an expression of the spirit within,” Friberg said. “When I paint Nephi, I’m painting the interior, the greatness, the largeness of spirit. Who knows what he looked like? I’m painting a man who looks like he could actually do what Nephi did.” 

When I look at these Book of Mormon paintings, I feel like I’m right there, witnessing the event, like this scene with Abinadi and King Noah.

"Abinadi Before King Noah" was one Friberg's favorite Book of mormon paintings.

“Abinadi Before King Noah” was one Friberg’s favorite Book of mormon paintings.

His 1975 “Prayer At Valley Forge,” a depiction of George Washington praying at Valley Forge, is also one of my all-time favorites and hangs in my home.

Artist Arnold Friberg and his classic painting, "Prayer At Valley Forge." (Photo/Don Busath)

Artist Arnold Friberg and his classic painting, “Prayer At Valley Forge.”
(Photo/Don Busath)

Friberg died in 2010 at age 96. The New York Times published a summary of his life’s work.

Artist Arnold Friberg in his home in Holladay, Utah Sept. 19, 2008.  (Keith Johnson/Deseret News)

Artist Arnold Friberg in his home in Holladay, Utah Sept. 19, 2008. (Keith Johnson/Deseret News)

Later this year, Friberg Fine Art will display more than 75 Friberg paintings at an art exhibition at The Gateway in Salt Lake City. The exhibit will include each of the 15 original paintings “The Ten Commandments,” plus a series of sketches Mr. Friberg created. The exhibit opens Oct. 1 and continues through Jan. 1, 2014. For more information on the exhibition, read this Deseret News article .

Arnold Friberg created a series of paintings for Cecil B. DeMille's epic production, "The Ten Commandments."

Arnold Friberg created a series of paintings for Cecil B. DeMille’s epic production, “The Ten Commandments.”

In connection with this exhibition, Friberg Fine Art came to me and asked if I could help compiled some material for a magazine publication that will be distributed. The magazine will include information about Friberg’s life and his work. It has been a fun project, and I’m grateful be associated with it. I look forward to visiting the exhibition, seeing the final magazine and paying tribute to this great artist.

 

 

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Trent Toone

My name is Trent Toone and I’m a journalist for the Deseret News, where I write for a variety of feature sections. I was raised in Northern Utah and graduated from the University of Utah in 2003. Since then I have worked for several newspapers and received various awards over my journalism career. I am the author of “No Excuses, No Regrets: The Eric Weddle Story,” the sports biography of San Diego Chargers safety Eric Weddle. I served an LDS mission to Santiago, Chile, and spent a year teaching seminary. Like my father before me, I am a proud Eagle Scout. My wife Lisa and I have four children and live in Northern Utah. Feel free to contact me by emailing to trent.b.toone (at) gmail (dot) com.

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2 Responses

  1. Rian Nelson says:

    Great Article Trent. Thanks for your time and support of a great many like Friberg.

  2. Judy Miller says:

    I have just given a check to Gary Fornia for a promotion of Friberg art at the Gateway in October. Are you involved in this?

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