Church Art is History

Can anyone explain the following from Ensign, January 2009, p. 77:

To align itself with other Church entities, including the new Church History Library now under construction, the Museum of Church History and Art in Salt Lake City is now the Church History Museum.

And sure enough, it already is, on the Church’s website. How does building the Church History Library change the alignment of the Museum of Church History and Art? Are the galleries on the second floor now only displaying a reminiscence of the Church’s past? Is next year’s Eighth International Art Competition the last of those triennial exhibits? Is some other “Church entity” taking on art curation?

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About John Mansfield

Mansfield in the desertA third-generation southern Nevadan, I have lived in exile most of my life in such places as Los Alamos, Baltimore, Los Angeles, the western suburbs of Detroit, and currently the northern suburbs of Washington, D.C. I work as a fluid dynamics engineer. I was baptized at age twelve in the font of the Las Vegas Nevada Central Stake Center, and on my nineteenth birthday I received the endowment in the St. George Temple. I served as a missionary mostly in the Patagonia of Argentina from 1985 to 1987. My true calling in the Church seems to be working with Cub Scouts, whom I have served in different capacities in four states most years since 1992. (My oldest boy turned eight in 2004.) I also currently teach Sunday School to the thirteen-year-olds. I hold degrees from two universities named for men who died in the 1870s, the Brigham Young University and the Johns Hopkins University. My wife is Elizabeth Pack Mansfield, who comes from New Mexico's north central mountains and studied molecular biology at the same two schools I attended. We have four sons, whose care and admonition, along with care of my aged father, require much of Elizabeth's time. She currently serves the Church as Mia-Maid advisor, ward music chairman, and choir director, and plays violin whenever she can. One day, I would like to make shoes.

3 thoughts on “Church Art is History

  1. All they’re doing is “aligning” the nomenclature.

    They’ve done away with the Church Archives, mashing it together with the library and calling it the “Church History Library.” Since archives and libraries are very different things, demanding different skills from the professionals and different cataloging, it’s a dumb, stupid, dorky, demeaning thing to do, if you ask me. (Nobody did.) The Museum is lucky to still be a museum and not some adjunct gallery of the Church History Library.

    I haven’t heard any explanation for either change, leaving me to speculate that its sole dumbing down purpose is to make all the phone numbers for that department fall in the same alphabetical space of the church directory.

    Understand, please, that I don’t work for the Church; I just spend my working hours using their wonderful — if grossly misnamed — facilities.

  2. If that wasn’t clear, and I don’t think it was, the stuff that matters (the actual activities of both the museum and the archives) hasn’t changed, only the names. Nobody visiting the museum is going to notice any change in the displays or function of the museum, just a change in the name over the door.

  3. Although my understanding is that the next art competition (opening the end of Marach?) will be displayed in the Conference Center. It will still be managed by the musuem however.

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