March 27, 2015
Writer: Marc Stevens
A mural originally produced for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' pavilion at the 1964 New York World's Fair now has a permanent home at Brigham Young University-Idaho.
Titled "The Purpose of Life," the mural has been installed on the ground floor of the BYU-Idaho Center.
Commissioned on behalf of the Church by Elder Mark E. Petersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, "The Purpose of Life" was painted by noted portraitist Robert Oliver Skemp.
The mural was displayed near the exit of the Mormon Pavilion at the 1964 World's Fair, where visitors also had the opportunity to view the Church-produced film "Man's Search for Happiness."
After the fair closed, the mural was sent to the visitor center of the Church's Hyde Park chapel in London.
When renovations were made to the visitor center in advance of the 2012 Summer Olympics, the mural was removed and offered to other Church venues.
BYU-Idaho accepted the painting and has since had it restored and prepared for display.
The mural can be viewed any time the BYU-Idaho Center is open to the public.