Maurice Brooks was born in Edgewood, Nevada in 1908. He sculpted in a traditional realist style. He died in Salt Lake City, Utah in 1970.
Brooks began art lessons at the University of Utah with J. T. Harwood and A. B. Wright. He also studied with sculptors Torleif Knaphus and Gilbert Griswold and assisted on Griswold's Mormon Battalion Monument . In 1925, Brooks began an eight-year apprenticeship with Millard Malin whom he credited as his greatest artistic influence. Brooks assisted him on his Sugarhouse Pioneer Monument during his apprenticeship. Brooks also collaborated with Malin during the construction of temples for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Bern, London, and New Zealand by the creation of sculptured baptismal fonts.
Brooks taught at Salt Lake City's Art Barn as part of the Works Projects Administration Federal Arts Project.
Brooks's work can be seen the Cathedral of Madeleine, the museum for the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers, and the LDS Relief Society Building. He is best known for the Gilgal Sculpture Garden in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Maurice Brooks of Salt Lake City, was a fine sculptor. Nevada-born, sixteen year old Brooks began art lessons at University of Utah with J.T. Harwood and A.B. Wright. He also studied with sculptors Torleif Knaphus and Gilbert Griswold, assisting with ornamental work on Griswold's Mormon Battalion Monument, which is located on Utah State Capitol grounds. Yet, Brooks later credited sculptor Millard F.Malin as his most important mentor. Serving an apprenticeship with Malin beginning around 1925 (Brooks was with him for approximately eight years), he also worked on Malin's Salt Lake City-located Sugarhouse Pioneer Monument during that time. A teacher at Salt Lake City's Art Barn during Works Project Administration/Federal Arts Project days, Brooks managed to pick up some federal commissions. He also assisted Malin on sculptural work for L.D.S. temples at Bern, London, Los Angeles and New Zealand. Otherwise, Brooks did many portrait busts and figure studies.
Biography courtesy of Artists of Utah
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 S. Olpin, and William C. Seifrit. Utah Art. Layton, UT: Peregrine Smith Books, 1991.
Swanson, Vern G., Robert S. Olpin, and William C. Seifrit. Utah Painting and Sculpture. Layton, UT: Gibbs Smith Publisher, 1991.
Swanson, Vern G., Robert S. Olpin, Donna Poulton, and Janie Rogers. 150 Years Survey: Utah Art and Utah Artists. Layton, UT: Gibbs Smith Publisher, 2001.