Cody’s Historic Domed Canvas

Although visitors may presume that the mural was painted directly onto the wall of the rotunda of the Cody LDS Chapel, this is not the case. In fact, one of artist Edward Grigware’s first requests was that pure Irish linen be obtained, a fabric he called the “choicest of artists’ canvas” but which was not available in or near Cody at that time.

While on a business trip to Montreal with her husband soon after the request was made, Olive Nielson miraculously discovered enough of the fabric in a small French shop. Arrangements were made to ship the fabric to Cody, where it was sized, shrunk, and glued to the rounded walls.

His canvas now affixed and the concept for the mural in place, Mr. Grigware’s challenge was to address the unique realities of painting in the rotunda. The dome requiring him to use his considerable experience, expertise and ingenuity to paint the images incorporated within the mural.

The primary historical figures, each approximately 8 feet tall, constituted one of the most significant challenges. Using technical expertise few possess, Grigware painted on a surface with not one, but two curves: one vertical and one horizontal. The sloping ceilings proved to be challenging to the artist when he created this masterpiece and to those who later wished to photograph it shortly after completion.

A series of black and white photos were taken, and then meticulously assembled in a single line. Mr. Grigware then painted the photos with oil-based paints, removing any distortions. Color photos could then be taken for use in brochures and other pieces.

Painting The Mural
Painting The Mural


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