Experiencing the Masters' Art in Europe

by Howard & Shari Lyon

We often get asked why we love to travel to Europe so often. Despite the obvious answer of how much we love to travel and experiencing new places, our main reason is that we are so fed and reenergized by surrounding ourselves by inspirational art when we visit! We always return home with new ideas, new visions of how we want to create and new respect and awe for the artists that paved the way for us to create as a profession.

If you love art or desire to better understand the art treasures all over Europe, there is a talk given by President Kimball titled “The Gospel Vision of the Arts.” that you will want to read. Read it in its entirety, before, during and after traveling. It will help you experience the art in a very different way, and bring more appreciation and respect for the masterpieces you will encounter.

The majority of the talk was given to ask the saints to apply themselves in studying the arts, supporting the arts and attempting to find the next great musicians, artists, and other best and greatests in their creative fields. We were asked to raise our arts to a new level within the church. But what stood out most to us is President Kimball's references to some of the most important art that we have, and it’s power and inspiration offered to the generations to follow.

We find it important to note that the pieces that he referenced, especially the David, and the Sistine Chapel mural are composed of nude figures. He went on to mention that though many of the artists morals were questionable, that the art they created were nothing short of masterpieces. So our challenge, is to remember that the doctor studies the nude body in a very clinical setting to master their skill. So to does the artist who paints the human figure, clothed or not, need to study and learn from the body in their professional setting, with respect and awe for the miracle of the body we were given in the image of our Heavenly Parents. As our friend and fellow artists J. Kirk Richards once said, “A marble statue of a nursing mother in the Springville Museum of Art need not be dismissed as pornographic….Don’t hate the body, if it’s respectful, it’s not pornography.”

The act of creating is a divine partnership, we are given the gift of creating as intelligences and then allowed to have a taste of that god like role as we create families, and beauty in our mortal existence. The ultimate position of our eternal life will be that of being creators. It is in our celestial DNA.

So as you experience art around the world, admire the skill, the breathtaking beauty, and the moving themes. But most of all, be still and allow the Spirit to witness to you of the sacredness of masterfully crafted art and how it resonates with our spirits. We hope to have the opportunity to share our love of art with you on one of our future tours!

Come Tour With Howard and Shari Lyon!: