Chalk it up to human nature, but we seem to visualize characters of the past always appearing much as we most frequently see them portrayed, be it in photos, paintings, drawings or statues. Who would ever not recognize the most popular bust of Brigham Young, the one with the heavy, short-cropped chin whiskers? So much of what he did and said was from a mantel portrayed as being old. Almost always this image is used when linking him to some story or account of his accomplishments.
Thanks, Kraig Varner, for breaking with tradition. You have given us a new and more vigorous Brigham with your new statue at the state Capitol. You help us to understand what the real Brigham was like. This is the man who conquered this valley and all that surrounds it on all sides. You have caught Brigham in what surely must have been an assertive stride, for he did move out to have attained so much. One senses a feeling of urgency in his expression as he looks in the direction of something to be done. The swinging left arm projects the thought that balance is essential as he gets around.For generations to come, Brigham Young will now be depicted the more youthful, but determined, aggressive, forward-moving leader his achievements testify he was.
John E. Carr
Salt Lake City