A Catholic Reads the Book of Mormon: Folk Carvings of Roman Śledź presents a dozen never-before-seen wooden sculptures from the private collection of Walter Whipple to expand Book of Mormon visual culture and foster an interfaith appreciation for its universal story of faith.
Śledź, a renowned Polish folk artist, and Whipple, a former associate professor of Polish at Brigham Young University, were first introduced in the early 1990’s when Whipple served as the first mission president for the Poland Warsaw Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. For years, Whipple commissioned carvings from this faithful sculptor. Eventually, Śledź proposed a series of sculptures from the Book of Mormon based on his personal reading of a copy of the book once given to him by Whipple. With no additional exposure to either Latter-day Saint art or theology, Śledź’s sincere interpretations of this unique work of scripture demonstrate the power of story and art to foster interfaith connection and indicate opportunities for connection within an inclusive global faith community.
Candace Brown is an undergraduate in the Art History and Curatorial Studies program. She first learned about Walter Whipple’s collection of Roman Śledź sculptures while interning at the BYU Museum of Art. This exhibition is a portion of her Art History Capstone and Honors Thesis projects.