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A collection of RadioWest conversations about LDS history, faith, and culture.

The Erotic Mormon Image


19th century Utah photographer Charles Ellis Johnson was a son-in-law of Brigham Young with access to the state’s elite. He trained his camera on the LDS Temple and leaders like the prophet Wilford Woodruff. So what should we make of his brisk mail-order business of “spicy girls”? Art historian Mary Campbell says at a time when most Americans thought of the Saints in terms of the “barbarity” of polygamy, Johnson’s erotic photography helped make Mormons mainstream. Tuesday, she joins us to explain.

Mary Campbell is an Assistant Professor of Art History at the University of Tennessee Knoxville. Her book is called Charles Ellis Johnson and the Erotic Mormon Image [Indiebound|Amazon]

On Friday, November 25 at 7:00 p.m., Mary Campbell will read and sign her book at The King's English Bookshop, 1511 South 1500 East in Salt Lake City. For more information, call the store at 801-484-9100 or click here