Frants Henningsen (1850-1908), Reading with Mom, 1901, etching, 10 5/16 x 6 11/16 inches. Brigham Young University Museum of Art, gift from the collection of Ira and Mary Lou Fulton, 2015.
Happy Mother’s Day from the BYU Museum of Art!
In this small etching, a young child carefully holds a book in his lap, while his mother attentively reaches her arm around him and encourages him as he works through the pages of the book. Henningsen was a Danish painter, illustrator, and professor. While he was known primarily for his realistic depictions of difficult circumstances in Copenhagen, he sometimes highlighted the central role of mothers in family life. This work portrays a sweet, simple moment between a mother and child, one that is familiar to many mothers who find quiet moments to teach and help their children.
“To all of our mothers everywhere, past, present, or future, I say, ‘Thank you. Thank you for giving birth, for shaping souls, for forming character, and for demonstrating the pure love of Christ.’ […] To all mothers in every circumstance, including those who struggle—and all will—I say, ‘Be peaceful. Believe in God and yourself. You are doing better than you think you are. In fact, you are saviors on Mount Zion, and like the Master you follow, your love ‘never faileth.’” I can pay no higher tribute to anyone.”
– Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, Behold Thy Mother, October 2015