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Museum offering virtual exhibit tours

The Museum of Church History and Art is now featured on the Church's official website www.lds.org/museum — offering Internet users throughout the world a virtual tour of museum exhibits in their own homes.

The museum tells the story of the Church through family-centered educational exhibits and programs. It also collects and displays LDS art and artifacts from around the world.

The Church website currently features a museum exhibit called "Early Images of Historic Nauvoo." Nineteenth-century paintings, engravings, photographs and drawings that often feature the city's most prominent landmark, the temple, are easily accessible to online visitors.

"The exhibit features historical images of the Nauvoo Temple that helped architects reconstruct the temple," said exhibit curator Richard G. Oman.

Included in this exhibit is the only known photograph of the city taken while Nauvoo served as Church headquarters, original architectural drawings by William Weeks and an 1853 engraving of the temple ruins by Frederick Piercy. Online visitors can tour the exhibit and read the same explanatory texts as if they were in the museum in Salt Lake City.

Visitors can also view the current museum exhibit "Sutcliffe Maudsley: Nauvoo Portrait Artist." Rare and historically significant portraits of Joseph Smith, members of the Prophet's family and other Nauvoo residents are included in the Maudsley exhibit.

The museum website information also includes details about the Sixth International Art Competition. Interested artists can fill out an entry form and submit photos of their artwork online. Information about the competition and online forms will be available in English, French, German, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish and Russian. Online visitors may also view a gallery of previous art competition winners.

Other online components include general information about the museum, contact information and an area to provide feedback, suggestions and acquisition recommendations. The museum's website will continue to add new exhibits and features on a regular basis.