Longtime patrons of the newly renovated and reopened (to the press and public) Washington D.C. Temple will no doubt notice changes.
A big one is artist John Scott’s large mural titled “The Last Judgment,” which prominently greeted them for decades, is missing.
Some may wonder what happened to it, especially given the drama surrounding The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ removal of murals from the iconic Salt Lake Temple and the Utah-based faith’s original plan to do the same with the treasured wall works by Minerva Teichert in the Manti Temple — before reversing course and opting to keep those in place.
It’s true, Scott’s work, after nearly 50 years on display, has been taken out of the D.C. temple.
“It will be refurbished,” church spokesperson Doug Andersen says, “and proper placement will be determined at a future time.”
Andersen explains that when a temple undergoes remodeling, “it is common for the vast majority of the artwork to be changed.”
“Since the Washington D.C. Temple was first opened in 1974,” he adds, “it was decided that much of the artwork, including paintings, should be refreshed, including John Scott’s beautiful work.”
The temple’s oval-shaped rotunda now features a similarly themed painting, Dan Wilson’s “His Return,” which depicts Jesus’ triumphal Second Coming accompanied by trumpeting angels.
A news release notes the newly spruced up edifice also includes these original pieces: “Great Falls, Potomac River” by Brad Aldridge; “Historic River in Waterford Virginia” and “Silent Reflections” by Frank Magleby; “He Healed Them All” by Michael Malm; “Reverie at Daybreak” by Adair Payne; “Supreme Teacher” and “An Answer Is Given” by Julie Rogers; and “Washington D.C. Temple” by Keith W. Wilcox.