Easily Accessed Digital Pioneer Portraits Coming Soon

Aug 2, 2017

The Daughters of Utah Pioneers museum, located on Logan's Main Street, has showcased pioneer artifacts and portraits since 1928. It's currently working on digitizing their portrait collection, making it accessible online making it easier for people to find their ancestors.

“As we were preparing to digitize our portrait collection, we learned about the portraits that we have," said Sharon Johnson, a volunteer at the museum. "We want everyone to be able to go online, see if we have pictures of their ancestors, and learn more about them that way. And we also found out with these portraits that they were created in a really unusual way.”

To create these types of portraits during the 19th century, a small picture was made bigger with a solar enlarger. The artist would illustrate over the top of the photograph. This piece of art is referred to as a crayon portrait.

An event will be held in November to commemorate the digitizing when a specialist of crayon portraits will be spending two days in Cache Valley.

“We’ll have a lecture at the historic courthouse one evening," Johnson said. "We’ll be partnering with Utah State University with the 19th century photography instructor to possibly do some tintypes and let people get their own picture. We’ll have opportunities for people to learn how to identify their own historic paintings and portraits and learn a little bit more about those and how to preserve those a little better.”

The portraits are being digitized “so that the public can find pictures that they didn’t know they have," Johnson said. "We have a volunteer here at our museum for years, and just last week she came in and found a picture of her ancestor that she didn’t even know was here. We’re wanting people to become aware of what they have.”