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Surround yourself with the artistry of historical moments.

The Life and Legacy of Arnold Friberg

(1913 – 2010)
“I love the simple, forthright, natural approach to art – I have no purpose but to tell a story and to tell it as well and as eloquently as I can.”
- Arnold Friberg
Arnold Friberg’s legacy as a visual historian is a testament to the power of art to inspire, teach, and preserve meaningful moments. His paintings remain a source of inspiration and admiration, inviting us to explore the depths of history, the beauty of the natural world, and the indomitable spirit of humanity. From the sacred halls of history to the glamorous world of Hollywood to the elegance of Buckingham Palace, Friberg’s professional career is a remarkable story of blessing, talent, and resolve.

Humble Beginnings

Friberg showed interest in art from an early age. When his mother wanted quiet, she encouraged Friberg to copy lettering in the local newspaper. His early enthusiasm for copying letters blossomed into an interest in cartooning.
Arnold Friberg
Arnold Friberg
Friberg’s parents enrolled him in mail order cartooning courses. He practiced his craft as a teenager by drawing cartoons for his high school yearbook and the local newspaper. After graduation, he attended the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts, and later, the Grand Central School of Art in New York City alongside fellow illustrator, Norman Rockwell.
Arnold Friberg in his studio
Friberg In His Studio

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police

For almost forty years, the Northwest Paper division of Potlatch Corporation commissioned hundreds of paintings and illustrations to advertise the company's printing papers. Friberg was by far their most prolific and best-known artist. His burly representation of the men selected to bring law and order to the western wilderness of Canada became instantly recognizable and admired. Friberg was especially well known for his attention to accurate detail from the buttons on the Mounties’ uniforms to the saddles on their horses. Many of Friberg’s Mountie paintings are now housed in the Tweed Museum of Art in Duluth, Minnesota.
Paintings on a wall in a gallery
Selected Mountie Paintings


While planning his immense biblical production, The Ten Commandments, Hollywood producer and director Cecil B. DeMille searched for an artist with both "the rare talent and inner vision to set down in the paint, all of the power, the color, [and] the human drama" he envisioned for his film. After a lengthy world-wide search, DeMille hired Friberg as chief artist and designer. Friberg produced hundreds of sketches and paintings that became the pictorial basis for the movie's scenes, characters, and principal costumes, establishing the visual tone and grandeur of the film. After the movie’s release, Friberg’s Ten Commandments paintings toured every continent and were viewed by millions of people.

Of Friberg, DeMille once stated, "Among the living artists who have dedicated their talents largely to religious art, Arnold Friberg stands out for his virility and warmth, dramatic understanding and truth. He has accomplished a strong and real service in bringing the truth of the Bible to a wider understanding, appreciation, and acceptance."
Arnold Friberg with Cecil B. DeMille and Henry Wilcoxon
Friberg with Cecil B. DeMille and Henry Wilcoxon

The History of College Football

In 1968, the Chevrolet Division of General Motors commissioned Friberg to do a series of paintings, depicting the most famous games in the 100-year history of American intercollegiate football. The resulting four paintings were such a success they were taken on a national collegiate stadium tour and a museum tour, and they were published in Reader’s Digest and Sports Illustrated. The originals of Friberg’s NCAA paintings are displayed at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, Georgia.
Arnold Friberg's Painting: The First Game
Friberg's Painting: The First Game

The Prayer at Valley Forge

“One of the most inspiring portrayals of American history is that of George Washington on his knees in the snow at Valley Forge.”
- Ronald Reagan | Thanksgiving Proclamation 1986
Arnold Friberg's painting: The Prayer At Valley Forge
The Prayer At Valley Forge
Friberg's masterpieces, such as The Prayer at Valley Forge, offer a window into the soul of America, portraying its leaders and landscapes with an emotional depth and realism that resonates with viewers across generations. His portrayal of George Washington in silent prayer amidst the trials of Valley Forge is not only a favorite among Presidents like Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush but stands as a symbol of resilience and faith in the face of adversity.
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Royal Portraits

As a result of his numerous Mountie paintings, Friberg was commissioned to paint a life-size equestrian portrait of the Prince of Wales (now King Charles III) beside Centenial (a blue-blood thoroughbred the Mounties bequeathed England’s royal family). The portrait served as the centerpiece for the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre in Yellowknife, Canada. The Royal Family was said to be so pleased with his portrait that the Mounties asked Friberg again a dozen years later to paint an equestrian portrait of Queen Elizabeth II with the same mount. Friberg lived in Buckingham Palace while painting Queen Elizabeth II’s portrait.
Arnold Friberg with Queen Elizabeth II
Friberg with Queen Elizabeth II

Additional Honors and Recognition

Friberg received an Academy Award nomination for his work on The Ten Commandments. He is a lifetime member of the ancient and honorable Royal Society of Arts, London. He is the only American named an honorary member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (in recognition of the more than 200 paintings and illustrations he created for the Mounties). He was commissioned to paint saloon scenes by Steven Wynn, owner of Wynn Las Vegas, scenes of the American West by the Louis F. Dow Calendar Company, and religious scenes that are published in The Book of Mormon.
Arnold Friberg becoming honorary member of the RCMP.
Friberg Becoming Honorary Member of the RCMP

Arnold Friberg’s Lasting Legacy

Friberg's art continues to captivate audiences with its vivid storytelling, meticulous detail, and profound emotional resonance. As we reflect on his contributions, we are reminded of the timeless nature of great art and the universal stories it can tell. Friberg's paintings not only immortalize significant moments and figures in history but also serve as a bridge connecting past generations with the present, inspiring us to view our own world through the lens of beauty, courage, and hope.
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