To Henry B. Eyring, art is not about public recognition of his skill but rather a reflection of his life and faith.
To that end, Eyring, second counselor in the governing First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has water-colored his memories on postcard-size canvases as part of his daily journal.
Now, after decades as a Latter-day Saint leader — including a stint as president of Brigham Young University-Idaho and later as an apostle — he has produced more than 1,000 visual snapshots to go along with his written account.
“I don't think of myself as an artist,” Eyring explained in a video interview. “I'm a fellow that likes art and likes memories.”
Without any formal training, he has sought a balance, the 85-year-old leader said, between “the things I know the Lord wants me to do and then some memories that I want to preserve.”
More than 100 of the lanky Latter-day Saint official’s watercolor paintings, sketches and journals will go on display Nov. 9 at the Church History Museum, 45 N. West Temple, in downtown Salt Lake City in an exhibit titled “A Visual Journal: The Artwork of Henry B. Eyring.” It will run through Jan. 21.
“President Eyring’s watercolors are personal and often capture his specific memories, deep feelings, familiar places and loved ones — in a way that flattens time,” Laura Allred Hurtado, the museum’s global acquisitions art curator, said in a news release.