Folks wanting to learn more of the Nauvoo experience prior to the June 27 dedication of the Nauvoo Illinois Temple can visit two new exhibits at the Museum of Church History and Art.
A number of artifacts and memorabilia — along with an exhibit featuring the portrait work of Nauvoo artist Sutcliffe Maudsley — offer perspective and appreciation of old Nauvoo.
"Early Images of Historic Nauvoo" celebrates this once thriving Latter-day Saint community nestled on the banks of the Mississippi River with original 19th-century paintings (a rarity), engravings, photographs and drawings. The landmark Nauvoo Temple is a highlight of many works.
Included in the display is a photographic print from Lucian Foster's 1846 daguerreotype. It is the only known photograph of the city taken while Nauvoo served as Church headquarters.
"This exhibit features historical images of the Nauvoo Temple that helped architects reconstruct the temple," said curator Richard G. Oman.
"Sutcliffe Maudsley: Nauvoo Portrait Artist" centers around the work of one of early Nauvoo's most prominent and prolific artists. Few know the artist by name, although many in the Church are familiar with Maudsley's invaluable images of the Prophet Joseph Smith; his brother, Hyrum Smith; and other Nauvoo residents, said guest curator Steven Bule, an art historian and associate professor at Utah Valley State College.
An Englishman, Maudsley designed patterns that were printed on calico cloth in the textile mills in Lancashire County. He was taught by LDS missionaries, joined the Church and immigrated with his wife and family to Nauvoo in 1842.
Just months after his arrival, Maudsley painted a full-figure watercolor of Lt. Gen. Joseph Smith for a map of the city. The exhibit includes six Maudsley drawings and several lithographic versions of Joseph Smith in nearly the exact pose. Other works in the exhibit include profiles of Emma Smith, Hyrum and Mary Fielding Smith and George Albert and Bathsheba Bigler Smith
Both exhibits can be seen at the museum Mondays through Fridays from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturdays, Sundays and most holidays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. The museum is located at 45 N. West Temple Street in downtown Salt Lake City.