five reasons to visit the Church History Museum

By September 19, 2014

1. There’s something for everyone: exhibits on Relief Society history, Presidents of the Church, Book of Mormon Fiesta…

2. One exhibit, “Practicing Charity: Everyday Daughters of God,” features some striking art about the breadth and depth of womanhood and charity. Regular JI readers might remember this post, in which curator Lauren Allred Hurtado introduced the exhibit. (Not in Utah? You can see an online version of the exhibit here.)

3. Tucked away in a corner is a lovely wall featuring artwork and artifacts from Mormons and Mormon life all over the globe. This portrait of David O. McKay was my favorite: transnational Mormonism in action!

Screenshot 2014-09-15 18.22.46

taken in September 2014

4. The museum store has some fun things for purchase, like these sister missionary figures. There’s no better time to add to your Mormon kitsch collection!


Now sitting at my desk at home and providing some companionship (pun intended) as I write my dissertation.

5. It closes in October 2014, for a year-long renovation. Haven’t been in a while? Great time to go visit before things are overhauled!

Article filed under Miscellaneous


  1. The museum store has some great stuff, high-quality bonnets for Trek, Salt Lake Temple doorknob jewelry, great art prints, etc.

    It is time to redo the displays, but I really hope they don’t do the same thing I’ve seen elsewhere: remove most of the artifacts and replace them with large panels with little bits of interpretative text and a bunch of interactive audiovisual displays. When I go a museum, I want to see stuff. Joseph Smith’s pepperbox pistol. Mary Ann Broomhead Wheelock’s hair-embroidery sampler. The Relief Society mola made by the Kuna women. Actual tangible items that someone made or owned or held that tie us to our history and culture.

    Comment by Amy T — September 19, 2014 @ 4:40 pm

  2. Oh yes, didn’t mean to imply everything sold at the store is kitsch! That’s apparently just what I like to spend my money on.

    Comment by Saskia — September 19, 2014 @ 11:52 pm

  3. Thanks for the plug for the museum, Saskia!

    Amy, while I can’t disclose details of the new museum plan, I can assure you that the people involved are all committed to keeping the artifacts central–nearly all of the JS-era artifacts in the museum’s collection will be displayed–while introducing new technology to enhance the story of the early restoration (1805-1846).

    Comment by David G. — September 20, 2014 @ 11:33 am

  4. Oh, I wasn’t disagreeing with you, Saskia; every museum shop needs a good blend of kitsch and quality. Each has its uses.

    I’m glad to hear that, David. Not long ago my family visited the new Native American exhibit at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Anthropology and Archaeology. Although the central campfire/multimedia presentation was mildly interesting, we were disappointed to see so many of the artifacts gone and replaced by screens showing things we could watch at home on Youtube, so we poked around for a few minutes and instead went to see the sphinx and mummies and jewelry and hieroglyphics in the Egyptian collection.

    Comment by Amy T — September 20, 2014 @ 7:43 pm

  5. Thanks for another informative blog. Where else may just I get that type of information written in such
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    Comment by exhibit 4g — October 17, 2014 @ 2:24 am


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