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Artwork of the Week

Artwork of the Week: Plowing Valley of the Great Salt Lake

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Mahonri M. Young (1877-1957), "Plowing Valley of the Great Salt Lake," ca. 1930, oil on canvas, 28 1/4 x 72 1/8 inches. Brigham Young University Museum of Art, purchase/gift of Mahonri M. Young Estate, 1959.

A flapping cloud of seagulls circles around a father and son as they till their Utah field. With the hope that accompanies a new planting season, the father pushes the plow deep into the earth while the son guides the horses. The blue mountains remind us of the expansive land beyond their farm, while a simple split rail fence suggests the accomplishments they are striving to build upon.

Although he lived in New York and Connecticut for much of his life, Mahonri Young was born and raised in Salt Lake City. Known as Utah’s most prominent artist during his life, he was recognized for his paintings, etchings, and especially his sculptures. Many of Young’s paintings celebrate his Western roots, depicting the rugged territory and the ambitious workers who chose to settle there.

See this painting in the exhibition From the Vault.

Past Artworks of the Week

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'Great White Throne' by Phillip Henry Barkdull

June 24, 2024
Artwork of the Week: June 24, 2024
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'At the Gates' by Henry Ossawa Tanner

June 17, 2024
Artwork of the Week: June 17, 2024
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Artwork of the Week: Cascade

June 10, 2024
Is this a painting, or is it a sculpture?
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