Dan Weggeland

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Danquart Anthon Weggeland (March 31, 1827 – June 2, 1918)[1] is considered the "Father of Utah Art" and was an artist and teacher in the early history of Utah Territory.[2][3]


Weggeland was born in the city of Kristiansand, Norway. At age sixteen, he began studying with a portrait painter in Christiania and at age 20 he went to Copenhagen, where he eventually studied at the Danish Royal Academy of Art.[2]

Untitled Danquart Anthon Weggeland painting • Oil on canvas • 23.5 " x 17"

After two years in Copenhagen, Weggeland returned to Christiania, where he worked as a portrait painter and did some work for theatres.[2]

In 1854, he was introduced to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), and one of his main teachers was a missionary who had also attended the Royal Academy of Art, C. C. A. Christensen. After being baptized a member of the LDS Church, Weggeland moved to England. He served as a church missionary in England from 1857 to 1861. He then went to New York City where he studied with Daniel Huntington and George P. A. Healey.[2]

In 1862, Weggeland went on to Florence, Nebraska, from which he left in August for Utah Territory.[2] Weggeland journeyed to Utah in the Henry W. Miller Company of Mormon pioneers.[4] Weggeland made sketches on his journey to Utah.[5]

During his early days in Utah Territory, Weggeland would occasionally trade a painting for a pair of well-knit socks.[6]

Weggeland's first major artistic work in Utah was his joint commission with C. C. A. Christensen to do a series of paintings from the Bible and Book of Mormon. This commission came from Dimick B. Huntington.[6]

Weggeland made many paintings involving Mormon pioneers.[7]

Weggeland did murals for the St. George, Manti, Logan and Salt Lake Temples of the LDS Church.[8][9] He had also served as an art instructor to most of the church's art missionaries before they went to France.[10]

Weggeland died in Salt Lake City, Utah.[2]


Utah Museum of Fine Arts [1]


  1. ^ Weggeland, Dan (1914). "WEGGELAND, Danquart Anthon". In Andrew Jenson. Latter-day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia. 2. Salt Lake City, Utah: Andrew Jenson History Company. pp. 271–273. Retrieved 2009-12-09. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Danquart A. Weggeland, Utah Artists Project.
  3. ^ Richard L. Jensen, “The Friendly Invasion,” Ensign, July 1974, p. 46.
  4. ^ Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel, 1847–1868: Henry W. Miller Company (1862).
  5. ^ Annabelle Shrieve, Mormon Emigrants Crossing the Plains in 1862.
  6. ^ a b J. Michael Hunter, "Storytellers: Scandinavians Art told of Restoration", Church News January 22, 2000
  7. ^ Ann W. Hafen and LeRoy Reuben Hafen (1976). Handcarts to Zion: The Story of a Unique Western Migration, 1856–1860, with Contemporary Journals, Accounts, Reports; and Rosters of Members of the Ten Handcart Companies (A. H. Clark Co.).
  8. ^ “St. George Temple: One Hundred Years of Service,” Ensign, March 1977, pp. 92–94.
  9. ^ Lloyd, R. Scott, "Pioneer Artists Enriched Mount Zion", Church News, October 16, 1993.
  10. ^ Giles H. Florence Jr., “Harvesting the Light: The 1890 Paris Art Mission,” Ensign, October 1988, p. 35.

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