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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Carl Bloch at BYU's MOA

If you live in Northern Utah, go online RIGHT NOW and reserve your free tickets to see Carl Bloch's exhibit The Master's Hand at BYU.

You guys, I hate driving to and in Provo, but I went to this exhibit.

It was Kev's idea to see this sometime, and thankfully we were able to go the weekend we had Julia's baby shower, so it was convenient to get together with some family and head over to BYU.

This exhibit was 10 years in the making, and it's all original painting and etching by Bloch. His work is beautiful, and a lot of it is used in LDS publications like manuals for the Church as well as for the Ensign magazine.

Some of the paintings are GIGANTIC and I just can't imagine creating something on such a huge scale. They're amazing, and they have held up so well over the last 150 years. I mean, I know they haven't just been sitting around being exposed to direct sunlight, sticky kid fingers and extreme wind... but 150 years is a long time for oil paintings to be preserved! Kev mentioned that lots of detail in the oil paintings have faded, but that those details can be seen still in etchings Bloch made of the same image.

I do have to point out something that really bothered both me and Kev; BYU offered "guided iPad tours" of the exhibit. Meaning, a million people were walking around wearing headphones and staring at a stupid iPad THE ENTIRE TIME they walked through the gallery. That means I was only bumped into about six hundred times as I tried to enjoy the actual paintings and etchings.

Why would you stare at an iPad image when you could look up at the real thing? WHY?! I know the iPad was offering written explanations that couldn't be read in the gallery, but there were way too many people sitting in front of the artwork while staring at an iPad. And sometimes art doesn't need an explanation. Sometimes it's enough to just look at a painting.

When I came across one of the final pieces, Christus Consolator, I felt a little stirring inside. The oil painting depicts Christ with the afflicted, offering solace in his presence. Both young and old are gathered. One girl in particular stares out from the painting and when I looked at it, it was as if she was reminding me to have a testimony of the Atonement performed by Christ. He did it for her, and he did it for me.

I don't think I could have had the same experience with an iPad.


  1. Wow. That does look beautiful. We might have to go to that. I agree. That is super lame that people were too busy staring at their ipads to even pay attention to the beautiful paintings around them.

  2. You can do both iPad and look. I stayed over 3 hours. The iPad had Danish people's commentary (video clips) as well as the Churches where the paintings were installed, so I felt it added to the experience. My 2 cents.


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