Saturday, March 15, 2008

Alice Merrill Horne

Many have observed that Mormon culture places a high value on the cultural arts. Alice Merrill Horne is one of the individuals that promoted this. Throughout her life, Alice was passionate about the cultural arts, particularly the visual arts, and used the leadership opportunities that she had to promote them.

Alice served in a variety of influential positions in Utah. She was the second woman to serve on the Utah State Legislature. She served for 14 years on the RS General Board. She wrote prolifically for the Improvement Era, Juvenile Instructor, Relief Society Magazine, and Woman's Exponent. She represented the U.S. at the International Congress of Women in Berlin, and as the Utah chair of the International Peace Committee. She also served in a variety of leadership capacities for the Daughters of Utah Pioneers & Daughters of the Revolution.

A common theme of her service in these organizations was promoting the arts. On the legislature, she pushed through a bill creating an art institute in Utah and creating a state art collection (which now bears her name). She wrote lessons for the RS on art appreciation, landscape study, and architecture. She exhibited and sold countless paintings by Intermountain artists. She published poetry collections and a handbook on Utah Art.

However, Alice's influence was not limited to the arts. She cared deeply about education and public health. While serving as a state legislator, she sponsored a bill to provide teaching scholarships for students at the University of Utah. On the RS board, she campaigned for tougher standards for milk sold in the state, and established several free milk stations in Salt Lake City for underprivileged families.

I'm impressed with Horne's tireless service, and the way she utilized the platforms she had been given to improve the world around her.

Alice Merrill Horne, Harriet Horne Arrington, Utah History Encyclopedia.

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