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Friberg’s works, including ‘Valley Forge,’ on display at Gateway

First Published      Last Updated Oct 03 2013 08:12 am

Arnold Friberg — one of Utah's most revered artists for his work illustrating The Book of Mormon and inspiring Cecil B. deMille's designs in "The Ten Commandments" — is being honored with an extensive exhibit at The Gateway shopping center in downtown Salt Lake City.

The exhibit, "A Life in Art: Arnold Friberg," opened on Tuesday at 110 S. Rio Grande Dr. in The Gateway, in the space once occupied by The Gap.

The exhibit — timed around what would have been the artist's 100th birthday on Dec. 13 — boasts more than 300 rare and never-before-seen pieces by Friberg, some of them discovered in his studio after his death in 2010.

Among the highlights are his well-known 1975 painting "The Prayer at Valley Forge," which depicts a kneeling George Washington, and the 15 "pre-visualization" paintings he created for deMille's production of "The Ten Commandments."

The works are categorized in 12 themed galleries, highlighting points of Friberg's life and career. Other artifacts also are included, such as a robe worn by Charlton Heston in "The Ten Commandments" and a re-creation of Friberg's studio.

(Friberg's Book of Mormon paintings are on permanent display at the LDS Church Conference Center.)

The exhibit will be in place through Jan. 1, 2014. Hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and noon to 6 p.m. Sundays. Tickets are $15, available at the door.