Museum of Church History and Art
Brigham Young encouraged the preservation of church history, especially when he saw that Salt Lake City’s pioneering era was drawing to a close. The collection of church artifacts, begun by the Deseret Museum in 1869 and now housed in the modern Museum of Church History and Art (45 N. West Temple St., 801/240-4615, 9 a.m.–9 p.m. Mon.–Fri. and 10 a.m.–7 p.m. Sat–Sun. and holidays except New Year’s Day, Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas; free), includes the plow that cut the first furrows in Great Salt Lake Valley.
Exhibits document each of the past church presidents and include religious paintings and sculpture. Perhaps the most striking piece is the gilded 11.5-foot statue of Moroni that crowned a Washington, D.C., chapel from 1933 to 1976. Temporary exhibits also display Mormon artistry and themes in photography, abstract art, textiles, furniture, and woodworking.
Step outside to see the 1847 log cabin, one of only two surviving from Salt Lake City’s beginnings. The interior has been furnished as it might have been during the first winter here.
© W.C. McRae and Judy Jewell from Moon Utah, 9th Edition