Saturday, July 3, 2010

Arnold Friberg Dies at 96

Utah artist Arnold Friberg, painter of historical scenes of Washington at Valley Forge for the U.S. Bicentennial in 1976, died Thursday at age 96.

He was known for a range of historical subjects, including images of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, marketing art for the film "Ten Commandments" and paintings for the Church of Latter-day Saints. (Correction: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Thanks, Les!)

More samples of his work can be seen at the blog of Greg Newbold, who had the chance to meet him.
AP Friberg Obit

12 comments:

Gordon Napier said...

A super artist of whom I'd not heard. (The mountie one reminds me of Due South.)

lyon said...

I had the pleasure of meeting Arnold Friberg and sitting down with him for a while to talk. He had so many wonderful stories. He was made an honorary Canadian Mountie and had his bright red mountie coat on with beautiful embroidery across the breast. He was very kind and had a great wit.

He won an Oscar for his work on The Ten Commandments. He talked about staying in Buckingham Palace while painting the Queen and how surreal that was. He described in great detail the horse, Centennial, who was in his portraits of both The Queen and Prince Charles and how wonderful is was to paint him. He went on for a while about the saddle and how magnificent it was. His eyes sparkled as he talked about it. He said that he wished he could just paint the horse and the saddle, and not bother with the Queen!

One of the articles I read said they will be building a museum for his work in SLC. I can't wait to see all of his work in one place. He was the last of the great Golden Age illustrators, a student of Harvey Dunn.

There is a great book on him and his work that can be found used on Amazon for around $40. It is a great book, I have a copy. I bet it won't be that cheap for long!

Nasan Hardcastle said...

Several years ago, I was able to visit a local gallery displaying his paintings for the Ten Commandments movie. His artwork is fantastic to see in person. Arnold Friberg did make a brief appearance and although very frail, was very happy to visit with us.
That would be great if they create a museum for his work so more people could enjoy the originals.

Greg Newbold said...

Thanks for the link James. It certainly was a treat for me to meet him, if only for the briefest of moments. I have seen dozens of his paintings over the years including all the Ten Commandments work and if you ever have the chance to see his originals, it's well woth the effort. The brushwork and color subtlety he acheived is magnificent

JonB said...

The painting of George Washington praying might be more effective if the horse were praying too.

Les said...

Forgive me for being a nit-picker, Jim, but the church's name is "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints", often known by the nickname Mormon. His works have had monumental impact, monuments to his sense of lighting, staging, and story telling as well as monuments to his skill with brush and paint. His "Washington at Valley Forge" continues to inspire many thousands. Great stuff.

brownbird said...
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Jerry said...
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Jerry said...
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Jerry said...

Drew with him at Scottsdale Artist School, did a fantastic figures drawing. He is as lanky as the figures he paints. Great stories about past illustrators

Erika said...

I could probably count him as my first exposure to golden age illustration, as I grew up goggling the illustrations he did for the Book of Mormon. Even so many years later, he's still on my most-admired artists list.

seadit said...

Late to the party (again), but I thought I'd pass along more information about Arnold Friberg that might be of interest. I had the chance to spend time with him in his studio when I was attending school. One of our teachers was good friends with Arnold and was able to set up a meeting with him and our entire class, which was exciting for me because I grew up with his and Norman Rockwell's images, and one of the reasons I wanted to learn to paint - they both told such wonderful stories with their work. While they were known as 'illustrators', I always have thought of them as simply master painters.

In the time we spent with him he shared with us among other things his experiences of painting the Royal family on several occasions. In his words, nobody paints horses better, and the portraits he did of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles included theirs. He also shared with us stories of painting the Canadian Mounties and the Ten Commandment paintings, along with some of what he was able to keep including some (many?) of the original paintings that hung in his studio and one of the robes Charlton Heston wore. We ended the night in his home where he showed us the original painting of George Washington in his dining room. I believe he felt it was one of his most inspired and favorite paintings.

How I love art and the way it opens and expands our human experience. Thank you for your many, many posts! You have reawakened my love of art and hope that I can put my talents to some use if even only on a very small scale.