IMAGE: Laie, Oahu (Hawaii) temple from 1956. An exquisite and lively photograph from John Hajicek


I am the only person alive who travels full-time in the exclusive quest and preservation of rare Mormon books, significant Mormon manuscripts, insightful Mormon artifacts, early Mormon art, and distinctive Mormon material culture. Virtually all of this relates to the Joseph Smith family and the Joseph Smith period, the origins of Mormonism in New England and New York, Mormons in Missouri and the Midwest, and the Mormon succession crisis in the Great Lakes states. So that means most of the materials relate to 1791 to 1856, with some outliers from 1216 to 1930.


Within that responsibility, I curate the most important Mormon photography collection, tens of thousands of photographs, especially the Smith family, Mormon historic sites, and Latter Day Saint architecture, including Mormon photographs from the early daguerrian era.


But as a side-interest (I was a hotelier and restaurateur in my earlier life), I enjoy collecting midcentury-modern furniture, midcentury-modern dinnerware, and Mormon vernacular photography at the midcentury. Since I became interested in architecture at Kirtland (Ohio) and Nauvoo (Illinois), I have grown to also enjoy collecting images of the western pioneer, art deco, and midcentury-modern Mormon temples, particular if they are amateur photography with tourists or their vehicles marking time. A simply artistic photograph adds vibrancy to a home full of leathern and cottony books. Here is an exquisite and lively photograph from 1956. Laie, Oahu (Hawaii).