Church News and Events

Museum Opens Exhibit Focused on Children

Contributed By By Monica Lunardelli, Church News and Events

  • December 3, 2012–January 21, 2014
December 3, 2012–January 21, 2014
Salt Lake City, Utah, USA

The painting Gleaners, by James Taylor Harwood, is one of several pieces on children that will be exhibited in Portraits of Childhood: Behold Your Little Ones, at the Church History Museum.

The Church History Museum has opened a new exhibition featuring art pieces from the 19th and early 20th century that explore children at work, at home, and at play. Portraits of Childhood: Behold Your Little Ones will run December 3, 2012–January 21, 2014, and highlights Victorian-era works of art from the museum’s permanent collection.

The exhibit is divided into four sections, each one representing a different aspect of a child’s life: “Portraits of Pondering” showcases portraits of children; “Angels in White” features children wearing white; “At Home, at School, at Play” depicts children in their own environments; and “Child-Sized” features furniture made to be used by children.

The oil paintings depict children during a time when leaders were turning their attention to children and the abuses they were suffering during the Industrial Revolution. For Maryanne Andrus, exhibits manager at the Church History Museum, the goal is to help patrons think about the children in their lives.

“The main premise is really to learn to appreciate the children in our lives by looking at portraits of children,” Sister Andrus said. “The idea of a portrait itself is something that helps us focus and appreciate the individual that is depicted in that portrait.”

To help patrons focus on the Savior’s admonition to let the children “come unto me” (Mark 10:14), Sister Andrus said the labels of the artwork have quotes from many Church Presidents who talked about children.

“It’s really nice to have that gospel perspective on kids,” she said. “It is to really help people appreciate the stage of childhood and the sweetness of [it].”

Those who are unable to visit the museum will still be able to experience the exhibit. The Church History Museum has made available on its website a gallery with all the paintings from the exhibit.

The Church History Museum is located at 45 North West Temple Street in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, and is open Mondays through Fridays from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Admission is free. For tour reservations, call 801-240-4615.

For more information about the exhibit, go to