Karl A. Quilter Dead: Sculptor Of Iconic Angel Moroni Sculptures Dies At 84

12/03/2013 11:19 am ET | Updated Jan 23, 2014
  • Janelle Stecklein Religion News Service
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

(RNS) Karl A. Quilter, the man who designed the majority of the Angel Moroni sculptures that grace the steeples of Mormon temples worldwide, died last week. He was 84.

Karl Quilter spent much of his life carefully and painstakingly sculpting out of clay the mold for what would eventually be cast into the golden angel perched atop The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints temples.

All but an estimated 10 or so Angel Moroni sculptures on temples worldwide are Quilter’s work, said his daughter, Elizabeth Quilter Finlinson.

The father of eight, Quilter created his first non-commissioned sculpture while serving an LDS mission.

Always passionate about the arts, Quilter graduated with a degree in art and industrial design at the University of Utah.

In addition to the Moroni sculptures, Finlinson said her father also created the large Christmas Nativity scenes that can be viewed at more than 100 Mormon churches during the holiday season.

It was in the ‘70s when he was commissioned by the LDS Church to start his most high-profile creations – the angels.

By the time of his death, Quilter had created three versions that could be cast and set atop the temples.

“He was able to create an angel that could be made out of much lighter material, and it made the casting process much easier, it was less expensive and it was more durable,” Finlinson said.

Each of the three Angel Moronis was different, including in size, to give church architects the option of which would fit the design best.

Quilter is survived by his wife, his eight children, 43 grandchildren and 48 great-grandchildren.


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