In Search of Geo M. Boardman and His Art and Mrs. Milburn Button

The other day I received an email with a very interesting question, a lady from Washington State asked if I knew anything about a velvet copy of the painting of Joseph Smith originally done by Alvin Gittens but copied by Geo M. Boardman. So of course I go to Google to do some research and to my amazement I could not find anything on Geo M. Boardman. I went to the church website and no information in any magazines or literature of the Church. I wonder if Geo is short for George? I searched that too and could not come up with anything concrete. The original painting was done in 1959 the copy was done in 1969 below are pictures of the painting and the only known clues that we currently have. The painting was donated to Louisville stake probably that same year by a Mrs. Milburn Button. If anyone has any information on this that would be fantastic. Please comment below.

Message received on January 23, 2012

I am a member of the Church currently living in WA state.  I came across a pastel on velvet portrait of the prophet Joseph Smith.  It’s a copy of
Alvin Gittens’ 1959 portrait of the prophet. The portrait was made in 1969 by Geo M. Boardman and the piece was donated to a Louisville stake by Mrs. Milburn Button.  I was wondering if you know anything about Geo Boardman?

I would love your opinion on the piece also. Thank you.



Joseph Smith

Joseph Smith

Painting Signature - Geo M. Boardman

Painting Signature – Geo M. Boardman


  1. From the Finder:

    I found something interesting while researching about the portrait. I came across a Geo Boardman mentioned in the bio (or auto) of Parley Pratt. I wonder if Geo the artist could have been a descendant of him.
    I’m not familiar with the show History Detectives, sounds interesting. I’ll look it up. Keep me posted if you find anything new. Thanks again,

  2. I am the George M. Boardman you are looking for. Milburn O. Button was my grandmother that asked me to do the picture for her.
    She supplied the original portrait. If you have any questions, please advise.

    1. Mr. Boardman, what other artwork have you done? Just from the photo I can tell that you are a talented artist. I am the owner of this blog and we specialize in LDS art. I sent your response and email to the lady who originally contacted me about the piece. She is the one who actually has the painting. I would love to hear more of the story as I am very interested in history. Thanks for your response. Feel free to contact me at any time or you can always call me my phone number is listed on the website.

      1. I thought my grandmother gave this painting to the church in Louisville. I am interested on how a woman in Washington State got it.

  3. The lady who found the painting said:

    Mr Boardman told me his aunt commissioned the painting from him 43 years ago. She was LDS and wanted to donate the piece to her stake. . . He said it was the only LDS painting he ever made. He has no clue about how the painting got to WA state.

    Do you have any idea about the estimate value of a piece like this?

    Thank you so much,

    If you have any estimates of the value please comment on this blog.

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