Brigham Young, Mary Ann Angell family, ca.1845-1848

Painted by William Warner Major


Owned by Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Picture started summer 1845.  Top row: Brigham Young (1801-1877, age 44), Joseph Angell Young (1834-1875, age 11),  Brigham Young, Jr. (1836-1903 (age 9),  Mary Ann Young (1836-1843, died before painting was created), Mary Ann Angell (1808-1882, age 37).  Small children on front row: Eunice Caroline (1842-1922, age 3), Alice (1839-1874, age 5),  John Willard (1844-1924, age 1). 


The summer of 1845 William Warner Major began two other ambitious projects meant to immortalize the new leadership of the Church. Helen Mar Kimball Whitney, daughter of Heber C. and Vilate Kimball wrote:

"I had nearly forgotten our artist, Brother Major, from England; who commenced in the summer of 1845 to paint our family group. It was upon a large canvas, tastefully arranged,--my father and mother sitting with baby in the centre,--myself at her side and my brother William with his wife and little daughter on the left, and four younger brothers made up the family group. I sat for mine more than any of the rest, and the face was nearly completed before it was taken off the frame to be packed away, which was done only a short time previous to our leaving Nauvoo. One the same size, with President Brigham Young and family was begun at the same time--the latter I saw but a short time previous to Sister Young's death."1

There are eight people and two dogs in the now famous Brigham Young and Mary Ann Angell painting and eleven subjects in the Kimball painting. Each of these 19 people had to sit for his or her portrait individually or Major had to have a photograph of them to copy. Either way, Major was busy. The Brigham Young Family picture was completed after the pioneers arrived in Salt Lake. Major died before he could finish the Kimball family painting.