Visual Arts

Davis County One-ness: Anton Rasmussen’s Untitled

anton rasmussen

Untitled by Anton Rasmussen, 120″ x 192″, oil on canvas, 1976


Two years after receiving his MFA from the University of Utah, Anton (Tony) Rasmussen was commissioned to create a large, site-specific painting for the Davis County Library in Bountiful. It is made up of four panels that suggest an aerial view of estuary and marsh lands.  The artist spent time experiencing the South Davis area as he anticipated painting this piece for the library. He took a great amount of inspiration from the Farmington Bird Refuge.

Rasmussen said, “The source of my painting has been interpretations of nature as perceived with the oriental attitude of ‘one-ness’ – that is, to consider consistent relationships in all of nature regardless of the level in which it is experienced. So, implied, as well as perceived forms from the microscopic and underwater worlds, aerial views, close-up patterns and textures of animals and birds became the content of the painting.” The artist didn’t give the painting a title because he believed a title would confine the painting to a limited range of interpretation. Rasmussen went through a wonderful process of investigation, discovery, and interpretation as he created the painting and he wanted everyone else to have the chance to investigate, discover and interpret.

In 2000, the library was remodeled and, unfortunately, no longer has a place for this large work. The original benefactor, Mary Muir, along with the library and the artist, decided to donate it to the State’s Fine Art Collection, managed by the Utah Division of Arts & Museums. The staff is currently seeking an appropriate venue in which to display it.

Rasmussen’s works can be seen at the Salt Lake International Airport, the Southern University of Utah Student Center, LDS Hospital, Zion National Park Visitor’s Center, Utah Museum of Fine Arts and the Springville Museum of Art. 15 Bytes produced a video profile of Rasmussen that can be found here:

This column is sponsored by the Visual Arts Program of the Division of Arts & Museums. Each month the program distributes a newsletter about upcoming events and opportunities for artists. It also features a work from the collection each month. To subscribe, email

Categories: Visual Arts

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