Works of art occupy a prominent place in most Latter-day Saint temples. Mural paintings in the creation, garden, and world rooms of older temples provide appropriate settings for portions of the temple ceremony that take place there. Paintings and sculpture of religious subjects in other parts of the buildings help to set a reverent and contemplative mood.
As the Alberta Temple neared completion in the early 1920s, several Latter-day Saint artists were sent to Canada to paint the murals. (See Ensign, July 1977, pp. 6–11.) In addition to murals in the three ordinance rooms, the architects also provided space in the chapel, baptistry, and terrestrial room for bands of paintings along the top of the walls. These murals treat various scenes of sacred history relating to the Savior’s atonement.
Paintings in the chapel and baptistry were the work of A. B. Wright (1875–1952), professor of art at the LDS University in Salt Lake City. Known for his landscapes and portraits, he had studied in Paris at Academie Julian and the Ecole des Beaux Arts.
LeConte Stewart (1891– ), a younger artist who had studied with A. B. Wright before attending the Art Students’ League in New York City, painted scenes from the life of the Savior in the terrestrial room. A talented landscape painter, he also did the murals in the creation room and supervised the decorative painting throughout the building.
1. Adam Offering Sacrifice. This A. B. Wright painting from the baptistry shows Adam offering sacrifice in similitude of the Savior’s sacrifice.
2. Moses Leads Israel. This A. B. Wright painting from the baptistry shows Moses with the brazen serpent—a symbol of the crucifixion and atonement of Christ.
3. 2 Nephi, Chapter 24, Verse 24. [2 Ne. 24:24] This painting from the chapel shows a Book of Mormon prophet—Nephi offering sacrifice—as he testifies of the Messiah’s coming. (Painting by A. B. Wright.)
4. Mosiah, Chapter 15. [Mosiah 15] This painting from the chapel shows a Book of Mormon prophet—Abinadi preaching repentance—as he testifies of the Messiah’s coming. (Painting by A. B. Wright.)
5. Baptism of Jesus Christ. This picture, located in the baptistry, shows the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist. (Painting by A. B. Wright.)
6. The Resurrected Lord Appears to Mary. This picture from the terrestrial room shows the Savior appearing to Mary following his resurrection. It was painted by LeConte Stewart.
7. 3 Nephi, Chapter 18. [3 Ne. 18] A scene by A. B. Wright. The scene of the Savior administering the sacrament to the Nephites is in the chapel.
8. Divine Authority Restored. A scene by A. B. Wright. [The] depiction of the restoration of the Aaronic Priesthood by John the Baptist to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery is in the baptistry.
Paul L. Anderson is manager of historic buildings and sites, Arts and Sites Division, Church Historical Department.