Arnold Friberg was an American illustrator and painter noted for his religious and patriotic works. He is perhaps best known for his 1975 painting The Prayer at Valley Forge, a depiction of George Washington praying at Valley Forge. He is also well known for his 15 "pre-visualization" paintings for the Cecil B. DeMille film The Ten Commandments which were used to promote the film worldwide and for which he received an Academy Award nomination. He has been admitted as a lifetime member of the Royal Society of Arts. He also did a series of paintings depicting scenes from the Book of Mormon for Adele Cannon Howells, the Primary President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
When the Friberg's arrived in Utah, Arnold was asked to commemorate a centennial event by recreating on canvas the first pioneer Sunday school taught by Richard Ballantyne. Delighted with the painting, Adele Cannon Howells, the Primary President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints wanted to commission Friberg to create twelve paintings depicting the Book of Mormon for The Primary's published magazine called The Children's Friend. Financing for taking on such a project was an obstacle as there was not enough in the budget of the magazine to cover the cost of an artist, nor would the church supply any funding. Therefore, Howells funded the project herself by selling her own land. At the time, reproductions and special editions were printed and sold, however no one knew these paintings would have so much impact that the Church would decide to put them in all copies of the Book of Mormon. They also caught the eye of Hollywood scouts searching for an artist for Cecil B. DeMille's epic motion picture The Ten Commandments.
"I never had to take an aptitude test, I always knew what I wanted to do, Art". Mr. Friberg described himself as a storyteller. "That's all I've ever wanted to do, that's why I went into illustrating." Mr. Friberg passed away in July 2010 in Salt Lake City. "Art to me is a service, to bring enrichment to people's lives. That's why I want my art to be perfectly understood. One of the things I work for is clarity. That doesn't mean hard-edged forms, but clarity of the picture: what time of day, what kind of lighting, where it is."