Max D. Weaver



To me, art is a personal way of life, unique in every respect to the individual artist. It embraces body, soul, and spirit. This is reflected in everything the artist does. Art is creativity and idea, the design, the material, and the process.

—Max D. Weaver

The painting reproduced on the front cover and the five prints in this issue testify to the manner in which the artist Max D. Weaver interweaves art and life. The painting and prints were produced from 1982 to 1984 while Max and his wife, Ruth, served a Church mission in Nauvoo; typically Max gave tours during his missionary shift and every other possible hour painted or made prints of old Nauvoo and related areas. Max’s unflagging diligence as both a missionary and an artist is reflected in the jottings of two small notebooks he kept with him. On each left page he noted his off-duty activities for a week. Typical entries read:

Worked on Painting Flood along Mississippi R
     Cultural Hall and Bakery—
Worked on Painting Where Missouri and Miss-River Meet
     Delta Queen River Boat in it—[see the front cover]Painted the printing press to make it easier to clean up
                         [The week of 17 January 1983]

Made Drawing Wilford Woodruff Home and Painted it in Pastel
     16″ × 20″
Worked on Oil Painting Nauvoo Temple 24″ × 30″
     worked it in Oil
Made Drawing 16″ × 20″ Blacksmith Shop and Painted it in Pastel
Worked on River Road Painting in Oils 18 × 24:
Worked on Painting Horton Lake 16″ × 20″ Pastel
Printed 5 Trading Tree Oaks 9″ × 10″ [see p. 88]       "      4 Delta Queen Boat 9″ × 12″
       "      6 Hills of Iowa 4½ × 9″
Framed all Pastels to this Point and they look very good
Printed 36 Nauvoo 1846
Printed 36 Nauvoo 1846
Printed 36 Nauvoo Temple
Printed 60 Cardinals Presents for Nauvoo Missionaries
                         [The week of 11 December 1983]

Printed Pastel 16″ × 20″ Jonathan Browning Home and Gun Shop
     [see p. 112 of this issue]
Draw & wood cut 5 × 7 cut and proofed and printed 22 Prints
     Boxelder Tree just down west Lyon Drug Store—
Made drawing Keokuk Indian Village & Cut & Printed 25 Pts
Glazed 10 pots and fired 7 of them—To give away for Christmas Drawing—Nauvoo Reflections
Cut and Printed 25 Prints
     looks good—moody print but good
Drawing—Nauvoo Back-Country 5 × 7 Cut and Printed 25 prints
     looks good—
Working on Japanese way of cutting blocks wood-plank grain
                         [The week of 18 December 1983]

On the right page of the notebooks Max listed his missionary activities: the number of people who took his religious-historical tours, the religious books he placed, and the number of prints he gave to the visitors on his tours. All told, Max gave a tour to 1,821 visitors, placed 56 Books of Mormon and 102 other books, produced 35 oil paintings and 10 pastels, cut 25—5″ x 7″ wood and linoleum prints, and presented visitors with 3,426 copies of those prints. All the copies were printed by Max and his wife on a homemade press designed for rapid production (see the notebook entry for the week of 17 January 1983). The prints were in such demand that some visitors took Max’s tour several times in order to develop their collection. In short, Max used his art to magnify his missionary labors and his mission to enhance his art.

Skilled in a variety of media, Max has exhibited his pottery, paintings, prints, jewelry, and crafts in many one-man shows throughout the Western United States and has won awards in all of these areas. Known by his former colleagues in the art department at Brigham Young University as a “Renaissance man,” he commented, “I have had a good life. When I get tired of one thing, I can do another.”


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Print ISSN: 2837-0031
Online ISSN: 2837-004X