Weir House, Weir Studio, and Young Studio Under Restoration
The historic Weir House, Weir Studio, and Young Studio are currently undergoing restoration and are closed to the public. The Burlingham House Visitor Center and park grounds remain open and available during regular hours. More »
The World of Art
1877 to 1912
Mahonri Mackintosh Young was born in Salt Lake City, Utah in 1877, into a well-known family; he was the grandson of the Mormon leader Brigham Young. His mother bought him a woodcarving set when he was thirteen, and he used it to create his first sculpture—a relief of Julius Caesar carved from an old wooden fence post. After more formal art studies in Salt Lake City and briefly at the Art Students League in New York, Mahonri spent several years in the art schools of Paris. During this period, he developed into a fully-formed artist, and he decided to focus on sculpture. Already, a series of studies he had done of Parisian laborers were attracting much attention.
In 1905, Mahonri returned to the United States, settling for a time back in Salt Lake City. Two years later, he married Cecelia Sharp, with whom he would have two children in the coming years. In 1911, he moved with his family back to New York. Here, he worked on two large commissions: one was the Seagull Monument, commissioned by the Mormon Church and bound for Salt Lake City, while another was a series of dioramas of the Hopi, Navajo, and Apache Indians for the American Museum of Natural History. The research for these dioramas included trips to the Southwest, which would inspire many sketches, paintings and sculptures. Also in New York, Mahonri held his first significant one-man show in 1912. One of the attendees was J. Alden Weir. The fact that a leading artist like Weir found it worthwhile to attend the show was evidence of his growing reputation. “His friends ran the whole gamut of the art world,” Mahonri gushed. Weir’s attendance at the show was of note for another reason as well—unbeknownst to them, in twenty years, Mahonri would marry Weir’s daughter Dorothy and become his son-in-law.
Did You Know?
Weir Farm National Historic Site is the only National Park Service Site dedicated to American Painting.