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Torlief Severin Knaphus
(Vats, Rogaland, Norway, 1881 - 1965, Salt Lake City, UT)
Torlief Severin Knaphus of Salt Lake City, Utah, was one of Utah's finest realist sculptors in bronze and sometimes other materials. Originally from Vats, Stavanger, Norway, Knaphus took his early training at the King's Academy in Oslo with Lars Utne (1913), at the Julian Academy in Paris, and with Harriott Barker. Coming finally to Utah as a Mormon convert, he also worked in LDS temples in Arizona, Canada, and Idaho, while teaching at Brigham Young University and the University of Utah. Normally a very traditionally realistic worker in the third dimension, his Handcart Group on Salt Lake's Temple Square is well-known locally, while another of the sculptor's pieces can be seen at Hill Cumorah, Palmyra, New York. Yet there are other sculptural things by him expressing a fine sense of the art deco stylistic vocabulary—his work for the LDS temple in Cardston, Canada, for example. Occasionally Knaphus also painted landscapes in oil.