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Judy Lund-Wassmer

Julia (Judy) Farnsworth Lund (Mrs. Theodore Milton Wassmer), was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, November 26, 1911. Mrs. Lund was a well known Utah painter and was active in many women's organizations. Judy passed away in 1996.

At the University of Utah, she was elected Editor of Spur, National College publication and a stab at illustrating The Pen College Literay Magazine. Judy was the first student to receive a Master's Degree in Art (after graduation in 1935).

Judy's efforts in promoting the passage of the Lund Bill (1937) extended the Art Institute (which had been created by the noble efforts of Mrs. Alice Merrill Horne in 1899) to include all the arts, has since assisted in the development of the Utah Symphony and broadening of creative activities throughout the state.

Biography adapted from Artists of Utah and material supplied by the artist's husband.

Julia (Judy) Farnsworth Lund (Mrs. Theodore Milton Wassmer), was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, November 26, 1911, the daughter of Henry C. and Julia A.F. Lund. On her mother's side of the family, Judy is twelfth generation American, while some of her father's progenitors came over on the Norwegian Mayflower in 1825 (The Slooper). Her father was a lawyer and judge and passed away, a comparatively young man, leaving six young children to rear and educate which her mother did through her own efforts. Mrs. Lund was Educational Director for the Salt Lake City Civic Center and active in many women's organization. She served for almost twenty years on the General Board of the Relief Society succeeding her mother who had served for the same period of time. Judy's great grandmother Peterson also served on the Relief Society General Board and it was her idea to gather the eggs which created the "Wheat Fund" for the Society. Later, Judy's mother gave up her position as Educational Director of the Civic Center when called to serve as General Secretary and Treasurer for the L.D.S. Relief Society, a position she held with distinction. Sister Lund was considered by many to be one ot the best speakers (man or woman) in the Church. She inspired her daughter in this field and as a writer.

Judy's background is steeped in Mormon Church and state history. Her great aunt Julia (for whom her grandmother, her mother and she were named, and her brother, Joseph (twins) were adopted by Prophet Joseph Smith and his wife Emma (who had lost their own twins). During one the Prophet's persecutions, little Joseph, who was ill, was left out in the cold and died from the effects. He is known as the first martyr of the Mormon Church by some historians.

Judy's grandfather, President Anthony H. Lund, a Danish convert, was active in the Church all his life beginning in his home land with missionary work, later coming to Utah where he became an apostle, church historian, and held other positions. Certainly not the least of these, serving in the First Presidency as Counselor to two Presidents of the Church, Joseph F. Smith and Heber J. Grant. Judy's grandmother Lund told her after twenty-five years of marriage and nine children, that her husband had spent seven of their years on missions.

Judy's father and mother were students at the Brigham Young Academy. Her uncle, Professor Anthony C. Lund, became head of the Music Department of the B.Y.U. and later became conductor of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, building it from a small group to a worldwide acknowledged organization. It was under his leadership that the choir began to broadcast its programs on national radio in 1929.

Judy's interest in art expressed itself early, when (pre-school) she wanted and received a desk for Christmas where she could write and draw. In the second grade at the Lafayette School, Miss Thackery sellected her work from a class of some forty students to display at the holiday season. By the time she reached junior high school, she won a national poster contest sponsored by Keds. But art was not her only interest. At Bryant Junior High she was selected junior reporter for the The Salt Lake Tribune and later at East High School, served two years as reporter for the Red and Black. In addition, she wrote a mystery serial which was published in the school paper. She also won two oratorial contests, the Frank B. Stephens and DAR. Going on to the University of Utah, she was elected Editor of Spur, National College publication and a stab at illustrating The Pen College Literay Magazine. Judy was the first student to receive a Master's Degree in Art (after graduation in 1935).

As early as 1933 she was asked to volunteer her time to create a plan to put artists hard-hit by the Depression to work. This she did after careful consultation with diverse groups and the splendid cooperation of Alice Merrill Horne, Edwin Evans, and others. She carefully supervised this first program statewide for the F.E.R.A. which included murals, sculpture, etc., and it was such a success she was asked to create programs for the W.P.A. which she did, submitting them for approval. Meanwhile, she accepted a teaching job in the Salt Lake City public schools until the Federal Art Program she had proposed was accepted in Washington, D.C. and she was appointed State Art Director. Then, she devoted her full time to the development and furtherance of art in Utah which included programs to beautify public institutions, schools, mental hospitals, etc., and at the same time. give employment to the artists hard-hit by the Depression. For over five years she planned and directed programs to this end. The work required employing artists, assigning work, estimating, selecting and purchasing all art materials, personally instructing the inexperienced artist, judging and exhibiting finished work, recording early samples of unusual architecture, contacting public institutions and the press, compiling statistical reports, charts, and lecturing before literary clubs, school assemblies, and other civic organizations.

Judy's work in art throughout the state received high commendation except from Professor A.B. Wright who admonished her every time he saw her for giving up her considerable talent to devote her full time to executive work.

Judy's efforts in promoting the passage of the Lund Bill (1937) extended the Art Institute (which had been created by the noble efforts of Mrs. Alice Merrill Horne in 1899) to include all the arts, has since assisted in the development of the Utah Symphony and broadening of creative activities throughout the state.

She also found time to serve on the New York City Municipal Committee, selecting work for the First and Second National Exhibition of American Art. Before leaving Utah, Judy planned further art projects which were approved in Washington and by the newly constituted Board of the Utah State Institute of Fine Arts of which she was Executive Secretary.

When she left for New York City, the following editorial was written about her:

Miss Lund's Fine Service

The resignation of Miss Judy Farnsworth Lund as director of Utah federal art project compels anew an expression of appreciation for the competent and understanding service she has rendered the state, the impetus imparted to the enterprise of raising cultural standards here and the direction and encouragement received from her by many whose latent talents may be counted as assets to the state. At the same time she has handled the primary task assigned to her--the assistance of those engaged in the arts who were hard hit by the depression--with fine vision and good management. The exhibitions of works produced under her direction have justified all these commendations.

-The Salt Lake Telegram, July 29, 1937.

Biography courtesy of artist's husband, Ted Wassmer.

Newspaper Articles

"Art Scene." The Salt Lake Tribune, April 27, 1986.

"Art Scene." The Salt Lake Tribune, July 28, 1983.

"Art Scene." The Salt Lake Tribune, October 29, 1978.

"Artist, Patron Judy Wassmer is Dead at 84." The Salt Lake Tribune, May 13, 1996.

Books

Olpin, Robert S., William C. Seifrit, and Vern G. Swanson. Artists of Utah. Salt Lake City, UT: Gibbs Smith Publisher, 1999.

Swanson, Vern G., Robert Olpin, Donna Poulton, and Janie L. Rogers. 150 Year Survey Utah Art & Artists. Salt Lake City, UT: Gibbs Smith, 2002.

Swanson, Vern G, Robert S. Olpin, and William C. Seifrit. Utah Painting and Sculpture. Layton, UT: Gibbs Smith Publisher, 1997.

Swanson, Vern G, Robert S. Olpin, and William C Seifrit. Utah Art. Layton, UT: Gibbs Smith Publishing Co, 1991.

 Last Modified 8/28/13