Many rare Latter-day Saint artifacts exist–and this real life Indiana Jones of Mormon archeology is finding many of them!


Once in a blue moon, something in Latter Day Saint history is still discovered that was lost, legendary, and sacred.

This time it is this 5″ x 8″ double portrait of Joseph Smith and Hyrum Smith. This is a gouache and tempera portrait by Sutcliffe Maudsley made from life in Nauvoo, Illinois, about 1844. This is the original, the oldest known painting of Joseph Smith. It is a once-in-a-lifetime discovery, even for me (as someone into whose hands falls half of all discoveries in Mormonism).

From Independence, Missouri, I curate and archive about half of all known Maudsley paintings anywhere in the world, as well as pieces from all other a Mormon artists from the first half-century of Latter Day Saint history. Follow my Facebook to watch how I rescue and preserve more rare Mormon books, important Mormon documents, and rare Mormon art/artifacts than all Utah individuals, bookstores, libraries, archives, museums, churches, and universities—combined. I have been specializing in Mormon document authentication for 38 years.

For those who read to the bottom of this post, yes, the rumors are true: I own a 120-page manuscript with the name of Joseph Smith on it, from when he lived in Palmyra, N.Y. (it is the oldest known Joseph Smith manuscript). But I am not taking questions. Follow me, you are going to hear more from me soon.