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Painting a picture of the past

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Utah) – Before the day of television and cameras as we know them today, artists played a vital role in preserving history for future generations.
SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Utah) – Before the day of television and cameras as we know them today, artists played a vital role in preserving history for future generations.

At the corner of 200 South and 400 East in Salt Lake City sits a treasure chest of history. It's Anthony's Antiques, full of items that take us way back and offer a glimpse of life in the early days of the LDS Church and the state of Utah.

Like a pencil drawing of the Prophet Joseph Smith, believed to be taken from life. It was done in Nauvoo, Illinois by Sutcliffe Maudsley, an early convert to the church.

"We have a note from Joseph's journal from 1842 saying, sat for a portrait with Brother Maudsley today," says Micah Christensen, with Anthony’s Antiques.

It was likely Maudsley's first portrait and it ended up with a much higher purpose.

"After the prophet's martyrdom it was used to spread the news as the main image of the prophet," says Christensen.

Other images, now at the store helped spread the news of the majestic Mountain West. Like the Afterglow of the Wasatch, painted in 1887 from the eastern shore of the Great Salt Lake.

Artist, Alfred Lambourne converted to the church and came to the Salt Lake Valley in 1866. He became known for bringing stunning landmarks to life.

"He would go the Grand Canyon, he would go to Bryce Canyon and he would try to capture these orange, worldly glows that he caught here in this painting," says Christensen.

From breath taking beauty, to the wild, wild west, the frontier life is captured in Pony Express Messenger, by Minerva Teichert. Offering a first of its kind work of art for the state of Utah, from an artist trained in New York and Chicago in the early 19th Century.

"She brought a real discipline and a real professionalism to painting in Utah that hadn't existed here before," says Christensen.

If you have any historical treasures like these or any other story idea's on the history of our great state, we'd like to hear from you. You can email us or post them to our ABC 4 Utah Facebook page.

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