||Karl Alfred Quilter|
||University of Utah
Salt Lake Art Center, Utah
Avard Fairbanks, Utah
|Born||27 April 1929|
|Died||27 November 2013|
Karl Quilter was born in Castle Gate, Utah to Alfred Quilter and Vera Hales Quilter. Brother Quilter served a mission for the LDS Church in the Northern States Mission, and while there he sculpted a model of Angel Moroni as a noncommissioned project. The statue was used as part of an exhibit about the Church at a Fair in Des Moines, Iowa. While there they were visited by Elder Spencer W. Kimball, then of the Quorum of the Twelve. When he saw the little sculpture he shook hands with young Elder Quilter and said to him, “Young man, you’ll do much work for the Church.”
Upon returning home,Karl Quilter studied Art and Industrial Design at the University of Utah and was mentored by Avard Fairbanks, sculptor of the 3rd version of the Angel Moroni. While there, he and LaVar Wallgren experimented with casting sculptures in fiberglass instead of the more traditional metal. The effort was noticed by the Church, which would lead to the Church commissioning two statues for temples in the late 1970’s and eventually a third in the late 1990’s. Karl Quilter’s statues were lighter, easier to transport to locations around the globe, cost less to make, and could be lifted into place by smaller cranes or even helicopters. Additionally, they did not require the heavy structural reinforcement earlier statues required due to being cast from metals. This allowed for statues to be placed on smaller temples and narrower spires, including temples that had not been originally designed to have the statue.
Later in life, Quilter would serve another mission for the Church, during which he sculpted the nativity scenes that are now seen on many temple grounds during the holiday season.
Quilter’s three statues are often mistaken for one statue, or at best, three different sizes of one statue. But each statue is different with a unique pose.
Gallery of Quilter’s Work
“LDS Sculptor Leaves Lasting Legacy” lds.org, 5 December 2013.
“About Us” wasatchsculpture.com.
“Karl A Quilter” Obituaries, The Salt Lake Tribune, 1-3 December 2013.
Janelle Stecklein “Karl A. Quilter Dead: Sculptor Of Iconic Angel Moroni Sculptures Dies At 84” huffingtonpost.com, 3 December 2013.
“Karl Quilter: Mormon Artist” mormon wiki.com