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Arnold Friberg
Born December 21, 1913 (1913-12-21) (age 96)
Winnetka, Illinois
Nationality United States
Works The Prayer at Valley Forge
The Prayer at Valley Forge, arguably Friberg's most well known painting.

Arnold Friberg (born December 21, 1913 in Winnetka, Illinois,[1][2][3]) is an American illustrator and painter noted for his religious and patriotic works. He is perhaps best known for his 1975 painting The Prayer at Valley Forge, a depiction of George Washington praying at Valley Forge[1][4][5]. He is also well known for his 15 "pre-visualization" paintings for the Cecil B. DeMille film The Ten Commandments which were used to promote the film worldwide and for which he received an Academy Award nomination.[1][2][3] He has been admitted as a lifetime member of the Royal Society of Arts[1]. He also did a series of paintings depicting scenes from the Book of Mormon for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.[3]

Contents

Biography

Friberg was born to a Swedish father and a Norwegian mother.[3] His family moved to Arizona when he was three years old, and he began drawing cartoons by the time he was seven.[1][2] Also when he was seven Friberg's parents joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.[6] Friberg was baptized a member of the LDS Church at age eight.

While in high school, Friberg learned by meeting with the artists at the The Arizona Republic, and earned money by creating signs for local businesses while being apprenticed to a local sign painter.[1][2]

After graduating from high school, Friberg attended the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts, working for various local printers doing commercial art while attending school and for several years afterward.[1][2][3] This included calendar work for the Northwest Paper Company, for whom he created paintings of Mounties. Friberg has created more that 300 paintings depicting Mounties, and he is the only American made an honorary member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).[1] In 1940, Friberg moved to New York City and began studying as a fellow student with Norman Rockwell under the artist Harvey Dunn at the Grand Central School of Art.[1][2]

With the outbreak of World War II Friberg left the Grand Central School of Art and joined the United States Army serving in the 86th Infantry Division. He had an offer of the rank of captain to draw recruitment posters for the United States Air Force but chose instead to go to the front. He did use his art skills in combat to draw maps and such though.[7]

Shortly after the end of the war and setting up shop in San Francisco, Friberg married Hedve Baxter. He made it big creating a series of paintings depicting Western scenes for a calendar company in 1948. Friberg moved to Utah in 1950 in order to begin teaching commercial art at the University of Utah.[1][2] This was partly due to having become friends with Avard Fairbanks on a previous visit to Salt Lake City and also a result of doctors recommending that Hedve move to a drier climate for her health. Frberg also hoped to do art work on a grand scale for the LDS Church. Although he did get the commission to do a painting of the first LDS Sunday School, at the time the Church was commissioning few art works and initially Friberg made little progress along these lines.[8]

In 1953, Friberg moved to Hollywood in order to work on the previsualization paintings commissioned by Cecil B. DeMille for The Ten Commandments. Friberg was hired after DeMille was shown some of Friberg's paintings by a friend.[1] At some point during the 1950s, Friberg was commissioned by the Primary Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to create a series of paintings depicting events in The Book of Mormon.[2][3]

In 1968, Friberg was commissioned by Chevrolet to create a series of paintings showing the greatest moments in college football for use in their 1969 advertising campaign.[1] After extensive research on the location during winter and the equipment and gear used by Revolutionary War soldiers, Friberg created his 1975 masterpiece The Prayer at Valley Forge. This depicts George Washington praying while the Continental Army winters at Valley Forge in Pennsylvania during 1777 and 1778[1]. In 1977, he was commissioned to create a series of saloon paintings for the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas, Nevada. Due to his previous work with the RCMP, Friberg was commissioned to paint HRH The Prince of Wales and his horse Centennial (great-grandson of Man o' War). This led to an additional commission in 1990 to paint a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, also with Centennial. Both portraits were painted at Buckingham Palace.[1]

Friberg currently resides in Salt Lake City, Utah, where he maintains a studio.[1]

Partial list of works

Listed alphabetically by title.

Title Year Commissioned by Notes
1st Intercollegiate Game 1968 Chevrolet College football - Rutgers vs. Princeton, 1869
Abinadi Preaches to King Noah 1952–1955 LDS Church Book of Mormon
Ammon Defends the Flocks 1952–1955 LDS Church Book of Mormon
Christ Appears in the New World 1952–1955 LDS Church Book of Mormon
The Consecration of Joshua   Cecil B. DeMille Ten Commandments
Dinner Companions     Western
End of the Day     Native American
The Finding of the Infant Moses   Cecil B. DeMille Ten Commandments
The Finger of the Lord 1952–1955 LDS Church Book of Mormon
The First Passover   Cecil B. DeMille Ten Commandments
Following the Star     Christmas theme
Gentleman's Foursome     Western
Giving of the Law   Cecil B. DeMille Ten Commandments
Her Hero     Native American
Heritage of the Lord      
His First Ride     Western
Into the Valley     Native American
Knute Rockne at Notre Dame 1968 Chevrolet College football
Lehi Finds the Liahona 1952–1955 LDS Church Book of Mormon
The Light and the Law   Cecil B. DeMille Ten Commandments
The Light of Christ      
Long Trail West     Western
Maintaining the Right     Mounties
Mind If I Join You, Gentlemen?     Western
Mormon Bids Farewell to a Once Great Nation 1952–1955 LDS Church Book of Mormon
Moses and the Burning Bush   Cecil B. DeMille Ten Commandments
Nephi Subdues His Brothers 1952–1955 LDS Church Book of Mormon
The Night Christ Was Born     Christmas theme
O.J. Simpson Breaks For Daylight 1968 Chevrolet College football - 1967 USC vs. UCLA
Parley in the Forest     Native American, Western
Parting of the Red Sea   Cecil B. DeMille Ten Commandments
The Passing Game 1968 Chevrolet College football - Alabama vs. Tennessee, 1934
Peace Be Still      
The Prayer at Valley Forge 1975   George Washington at Valley Forge
Puffing Billy     Mounties
The Risen Lord     Easter theme
Sailing to the New World 1952–1955 LDS Church Book of Mormon
Samuel the Lamanite on the Wall 1952–1955 LDS Church Book of Mormon
Shepherds in the Field     Christmas theme
The Stripling Soldiers 1952–1955 LDS Church Book of Mormon
Tales of the Force     Mounties
Thunder Wagon     Western
Title of Liberty 1952–1955 LDS Church Book of Mormon
Trail Ends at the Sea     Mounties
Trouble for Butterfield     Native American, Western
Uncertain Odds     Western
The Wagon Wedge     Western
Waters of Manitou     Native American
When the Land Was His     Native American
Winners and Losers     Western
Winter at Valley Forge     George Washington at Valley Forge
Word of the Lord   Cecil B. DeMille Ten Commandments
Yielding the Right of Way     Western

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o "Arnold Friberg". Utah Artists Project. http://webpac.lib.utah.edu/fa/UtahArtists/artists/friberg/index.html. Retrieved 2006-09-30. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "The Book of Mormon Paintings of Arnold Friberg". Meridian Magazine. 2001-09-30. http://www.meridianmagazine.com/arts/001121friberg.html. Retrieved 2006-09-30. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f Rackliffe, Karen. "Arnold Friberg: An Art Study created by Karen Rackliffe". School of Abraham. http://www.schoolofabraham.com/friberg.htm. Retrieved 2006-09-30. 
  4. ^ ""The Prayer at Valley Forge" by Arnold Friberg". http://www.olywa.net/mmccahan/gbgeorgewashington.html. Retrieved 2006-09-30. 
  5. ^ "The Prayer At Valley Forge". Northern Neck Heritage Tours. http://ggcweb.com/nnht/pages.asp?pg=products&specific=jqhopoj8. Retrieved 2006-09-30. 
  6. ^ BYU Studies, Vol. 44 (2005), no. 2, p. 29
  7. ^ Barrett and Black. BYU Studies. p. 31
  8. ^ Barrett and Black. BYU Studies. p. 31-32

External links

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