"A Picturesque and Dramatic History": George Reynold’s Story of the Book of Mormon

Title

"A Picturesque and Dramatic History": George Reynold’s Story of the Book of Mormon

Publication Type

Journal Article

Year of Publication

2008

Authors

Pagination

115-141

Volume

47

Issue

2

Terms of use

Items in the BMC Archive are made publicly available for non-commercial, private use. Inclusion within the BMC Archive does not imply endorsement. Items do not represent the official views of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or of Book of Mormon Central.

Bibliographic Citation

Carmack, Noel A. ""A Picturesque and Dramatic History": George Reynold’s Story of the Book of Mormon", Vol. 47. 2008:115-141.

Abstract

George Reynolds’s 1888 The Story of the Book of Mormon was the first published book attempting to illustrate Book of Mormon events, characters, and settings. Contributing painters looked to American historical artists for stylistic inspiration and used biblical imagery to convey that Book of Mormon peoples were from the Near East. They often created settings reminiscent of ancient Central America, including Mayan temples and ruins. The book was used widely in Primary and Sunday School, and its appeal may have contributed to the Deseret News’s 1890 call for more Mormon-specific religious art to aid in the classroom. While modern readers may not be impressed by the quality of nineteenth century artwork included in Reynolds’s book, The Story of the Book of Mormon was significant in being the first to establish what the characters and setting of the Book of Mormon may have looked like.

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