For some years, the staff of the Museum of Church History and Art has collected art created by members of the Church. We considered it all “Latter-day Saint art,” simply because it was created by Church members. But more recently, we have sharpened our focus. Currently, we are collecting art with a Latter-day Saint theme. Most of this work is spontaneously created by Latter-day Saint artists as they visually declare their faith to the world.
But some Latter-day Saint artists create beautiful works that do not necessarily deal with a religious theme. We try to encourage such artists to consider expressing gospel themes in their work. Sometimes that encouragement is given on an individual basis, and sometimes we invite all Latter-day Saint artists to create something within the gospel framework and enter it in the international art competition sponsored by the museum.
The works we have collected thus far demonstrate that the word art covers many forms of expression. As the gospel message reaches out to the world and the Church membership expands to include many cultures, we see that art means textiles, ceramics, paintings, drawings, pottery, jewelry, quilting, embroidery, weaving, and many other mediums.
Most art in the museum can be considered folk art, a record of our lives expressed within our own cultural framework. What is seen in these pages is a sampling of truly Latter-day Saint art. It reminds us that despite the incredible cultural diversity of the Church, we are a community of believers in the Savior. It also reminds us that it is faith, covenants, and good works that are important—not political, economic, or technological power.