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The Museum Honors the Legacy of Carol Christensen

It is with great sorrow that we acknowledge the passing of Carol Christensen (1933-2024) last week. Carol, along with her late husband Roy, were instrumental in the acquisition of several treasures in the Museum's religious collection. Their generosity also facilitated some of the Museum's largest exhibitions, and they established an endowment to fund the presence of a curator of religious art to oversee this unique aspect of our collection. Our hearts are heavy, and we owe the Christensens a deep debt of gratitude. Our prayers are with the Christensen children as they mourn their mother's passing.

Over more than a decade, the Christensens' generosity enabled the Museum to acquire works by artists including Arnold Friberg, Franz Ittenbach, Bruce Smith, Marianne Stokes, and Ernst Zimmerman. Additionally, their donations helped produce exhibitions like Carl Bloch: The Master's Hand and Sacred Gifts: The Religious Art of Carl Bloch, Heinrich Hoffman, and Franz Schwartz.

“We are incredibly grateful and honored to have associated with Carol and Roy over many years," said MOA Director Janalee Emmer. "Carol was always gracious, kind, and going about doing good. I particularly remember when they helped us acquire a stunning painting by 19th century artist Marianne Stokes called Angels Entertaining the Holy Child. It shows an exhausted Mary resting her head on the hay while two angels play music for a very awake Christ child. Carol loved this work—she said this tender portrayal of Mary spoke to her mother heart. As a mother of eleven children, I know Carol knew quite a bit about weary mothers! I rarely look at this beautiful painting without thinking of Carol and her mother heart. We are so grateful to have it in the collection. The museum is a better place because of the generous hearts of Carol and Roy.”

Carol met her husband here at Brigham Young University, and they married in October 1956. She earned a degree in elementary education. They raised their eleven children in California and Utah, and they were always eager to collaborate with the Museum to inspire its visitors. They are both dearly missed, and their sacrifices on behalf of the Museum will never be forgotten.

Highlights from the Significant Museum Acquisitions Facilitated by the Christensen Family:

Angels Entertaining the Holy Child
Marianne Stokes, c.1893, oil on canvas. Brigham Young University Museum of Art, purchased with funds provided by Roy and Carol Christensen, 2015.
The Twelve-Year-Old Christ in the Temple
Ernst Zimmermann, oil on canvas, 63" x 94.5", 1879; courtesy BYU Museum of Art; purchased with funds from Roy and Carol Christensen
Peace, Be Still
Arnold Friberg (1913-2010) c.1960, oil on masonite 41 x 65 inches. Brigham Young University Museum of Art, purchased with funds provided by Roy and Carol Christensen, 2021