Near the recommend desk in the new Nauvoo Illinois Temple hangs a painting representing the "City of Joseph" in 1846. A gift to President Gordon B. Hinckley's father, the painting was donated to the temple by the Hinckley family.
Artist Lane K. Newberry presented the landscape to Bryant S. Hinckley in 1939 when he presided over the Northern States Mission, headquartered in Chicago, Ill.
The painting is based on a reprint of a daguerreotype made during the winter of 1845-1846. The daguerreotype was photographed years later in Salt Lake City. However, when prints were made, the negative was flopped, reversing the Nauvoo landscape in the picture.
Newberry acquired one of the reversed photos, according to T. Edgar Lyon, who researched background information of the painting in 1973. Then, taking artistic license, Newberry eliminated many buildings, moved others and changed one entirely to balance the scene. However, he preserved the major buildings in Nauvoo to sufficiently identify them — capturing much of 1846 Nauvoo.
Newberry, whose ancestors were probably Latter-day Saints in Nauvoo, was a native of Fort Madison, Iowa. However, in 1957 — four years before his death — he closed his commercial art studio in Chicago and retired to Nauvoo. There he became a proponent of restoring the once-thriving city, according to information provided by the Temple Department.
In 1939, Bryant S. Hinckley traveled to Nauvoo for the city's centennial celebration and met the artist. He, too, dreamed that the temple would be rebuilt and Nauvoo would be restored, making an official request to Church leaders.
During a Church News interview, President Hinckley expressed appreciation that he has been a part of the fulfillment of his father's dream. "I'm only the third generation from Nauvoo," President Hinckley said. "My grandfather was there as a young man. My father was the mission president there in the area that included Nauvoo. Now I'm there."