When I was in Utah this past month, I visited the Gilgal Garden, which supposedly is on a lot of tourist information for Salt Lake City, but that very few local residents are even aware of. It’s this odd statue garden where a man named Thomas Battersby Child, Jr. handcrafted huge stones into sculptures that represented his beliefs. The garden contains a variety of sculptures, including “The Monument to the Trade” and “The Monument to the Priesthood,” though my two favorites are the “Captain of the Lord’s Host,” which is a carved figure with a big boulder for a head (how can you not like a statue that just has a big boulder for a head?) and the Joseph Smith Sphinx.
I don’t really have any profound thoughts on any of this–I just wanted to introduce everyone to the Joseph Smith Sphinx because I thought it was cool and slightly odd, while totally making sense to me as a Mormon piece of folk art.
Anyone else want to share strange or interesting experiences with Mormon folklore, folk art, etc.?
(The image I posted is a picture by Robert Hirschi, which can be found on the Gilgal Gardens website.)
- 24 May 2006