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Torlief S. Knaphus

Torlief Soviren Knaphus was born December 14, 1881, in Vats, Stavanger, Norway.Knaphus was one of the Utah's finest realist sculptors in bronze and sometimes other materials. Knaphus died at age 83 in Salt Lake City on June 14, 1965.

Knaphus took his early training at the King's Academy in Oslo with Lars Utne (1913), at the Julian Academy in Paris, and with Harriett Barker. Coming finally to Utah as a Mormon convert, he also worked in L.D.S.Temples in Arizona, Canada and Idaho, while teaching at Brigham Young University and the University of Utah.

Normally a very traditionally realistic worker in the third dimension, his Handcraft Group on Salt Lake's Temple Square is well known locally, while another of sculptor's pieces can be seen at Hill Cumorah, Palmyra, New York.

Biography adapted from Artists of Utah.

Torlief Knaphus of Salt Lake City, was one of the Utah's finest realist sculptors in bronze and sometimes other materials. Originally from Vats, Stavanger, Norway, Knaphus took his early training at the King's Academy in Oslo with Lars Utne (1913), at the Julian Academy in Paris, and with Harriett Barker. Coming finally to Utah as a Mormon convert, he also worked in L.D.S.Temples in Arizona, Canada and Idaho, while teaching at Brigham Young University and the University of Utah. Normally a very traditionally realistic worker in the third dimension, his Handcraft Group on Salt Lake's Temple Square is well known locally, while another of sculptor's pieces can be seen at Hill Cumorah, Palmyra, New York. Yet there are other sculptural things by him expressing a fine sense of the art deco stylistic vocabulary-his work for the L.D.S. Temple in Cardston, Canada, for example. Occasionally, Knaphus also painted landscapes in oil.

Biography courtesy Artists of Utah

Newspaper Articles

"Art Canvass." The Deseret News, May 1990.

"Reimann Gives Shape to Book of Mormon Heroes." The Deseret News, July 5, 1997.

"Three-Dimensional Utah: Works By Artists Past And Present Offer A Visual And Tactile Treat At USU Museum." The Deseret News, August 1996. 

Books

Olpin, Robert, S., William C. Seifrit, and Vern G. Swanson. Artists of Utah. Salt Lake City, UT: Gibbs Smith Publisher, 1999.

Swanson, Vern G, Robert S. Olpin, Donna Poulton, and Janie Rogers. A 150 Year Survey of Utah Art, Utah Artists. Layton, UT: Gibbs Smith Publisher, 2001.

Swanson, Vern G, Robert S. Olpin, and William C. Seifrit. Utah Painting and Sculpture. Layton, UT: Gibbs Smith Publisher, 1991.

 Last Modified 4/23/14