December 30, 2017

John Hafen, "When I Leave this Frail Existence"

John Hafen (1859-1910), When I Leave this Frail Existence, 1909, gouache, 17 1/4 x 10 1/4 inches. Brigham Young University Museum of Art, gift of German E. Ellsworth, 1940.

Mormon pioneer Eliza R. Snow wrote the poem “O My Father,” which later became the text for the well-loved Latter-day Saint hymn by the same title. The “O My Father” booklet, first published in 1909 as an aid in teaching gospel precepts, was illustrated by early Utah artist John Hafen. The portion of the hymn represented here is: “When I leave this frail existence, when I lay this mortal by; Father, Mother, may I meet you in your royal courts on high.”