In May 2017 I remember finishing my first version of a drawing I did of Joseph Smith, based on the Spiritus Daguerreotype, which I uploaded to this App Procreate to colorize it digitally (only ever did pencil or oil mediums before). I showed my brand new roommate and showed her the Spiritus Daguerreotype and in tandem showed her "older Joseph" (my image now, that I wasn't as convinced of at the time), and her reaction was interesting, looking at the "older Joseph",
"That is HIS chin... does he had LESS hair on one side of his head..."
I had quickly looked at the death mask of Joseph Smith and what Kim Marshall believes was his skull (and I do too now, Skull 1), and saw some similarities, but sitting on a couch staring at 1840 Illinois Man's face and finding it how fascinating that he matched the man's face, of the daguerreotype owned by the "Spiritus" channel on youtube (group in England) when I inverted that daguerreotype into it's mirror image. I saw that they BOTH had a very hood left eyelid and less hooded right, the right sides of their mouths came up higher than their left (which drooped). When I realized they both matched each other I began editing my drawing, FIRST flipped it's perspective and began making him look MORE like "older Joseph", which was growing on me- I liked his expression and kindness, humility better- opinion wise, but honestly in hopes that I could be free of lawsuit in doing artwork based on two images (if you change 70 percent of an original artwork, it's legal to copy it- per my HS art teacher, who knows). I emailed an old art professor, asking him if I could sell my art without getting sued by this group in England and what he thought of BOTH images? My incredible art teacher (his work looks like photos) showed me how the laws would generally be able to protect me and how he didn't think I'd get sued (and probably thought it looked different enough from my lack of ability haha). He generously took the time and compared the two men and said they could not be the same person, ears, nose- everything lined up differently (I disagreed bc I concluded the Spiritus Joseph had his chin down so his ears would line up higher on this face, I actually sat facing my mirror verifying this, and I was sure that his chin being more "square" earlier in life had to do with him dislocating his jaw so many times in his journals); then said "older Joseph" seemed too old to be Joseph Smith was his first impression, he however didn't do more than compare the two images side-by-side.
I am going to post links to references to Joseph Smith dislocating his jaw, this first one, you have to click on the note "10" to see that Joseph Smith reportedly dislocated his jaw just three months after the mob attack:https://www.josephsmithpapers.org/paper-summary/letter-to-emma-smith-6-june-1832/2
".. when I rose from the dinner-table, I walked directly to the door and commenced vomiting most profusely; I raised large quantities of blood and poisonous matter, and so great were the muscular contortions of my system that my jaw was dislocated in a few moments; this I succeeded in replacing with my own hands, and made my way to Brother Whitney, (who was on the bed) as speedily as possible, he laid his hands on me and administered in the name of the Lord, and I was healed in an instant, although the effect of the poison had been so powerful, as to cause much of my the hair to become loosened from my head."
November 1843, Joseph Smith gets food poisoning and dislocates his jaw, 11 years later, however- he likely had problems with his jaw the entire past 11 years: https://www.josephsmithpapers.org/paper-summary/journal-december-1842-june-1844-book-3-15-july-1843-29-february-1844/162
As I am writing this and editing this, of course I had to research Chronic TMJ and HAVE to let you in on how a girl that had this chronically got to the point she could hardly close her mouth, so.. I could see it being very likely, after 11 years, in the 19th century with little medical knowledge than what I HAVE as an Esthetician/MA, Joseph Smith could have gone from being able to close his jaw tightly and look like he has a square jaw line, to not being able to barely bite, from this chronic condition... Who knows, not me: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4379230/
It wasn't until I realized both men looked very similar, that I took the "older Joseph" more seriously and compared him to the death mask, using the app Procreate (I never did digital art until 2017, never took classes), and I first was shocked to see, yes, the very hooded left eyelid and a sunken in right eyelid. I made my first youtube videos simply to show that my artwork used BOTH images as inspiration, so... I wouldn't get sued, yet, that was it, the only reason I first made youtube videos, NOT to make money (except off my artwork, which it never did- hahaha):
(first youtube video ABOUT my drawing)
Below is my "finished product", finished as in- I have about 12 versions of this saves from my Procreate app, and ended up unhappy and fixing a million minor things to get his expression "just right"... I did use both "older" and "younger Joseph"s.
I did another video, after this, to outline the features of the "two Josephs", and became more frustrated with the "Fake Joseph" blog post, I honestly was not worried about the daguerreotype, as a group in England said they were studying it with professionals and they believed it was Joseph (whereabouts were known, awesome!), the "older Joseph"- I was worried about never finding, or being throw out- as the ebay seller "G" as they call him, was bulldozed as I myself have felt bullied online I felt a ton of compassion for him and had the persistent thought, I believe from the Spirit,
"He's going to throw it away... find it!"
My concern grew and I felt that I needed to work on finding the "older Joseph", so that... it didn't get "thrown away", or would get out of a dusty corner of the Church History Library (I actually thought they would have it, hahaha- ha). This is where my fire stemmed from, to convince whoever had to maybe- not give up... to really verify how well this man matched the death mask, so with a VERY pixelated image of "older Joseph", I had the thoughts coming to my mind,
"LEARN HOW TO DO LAYERS."
I didn't have photoshop, never did layers before, but after this thought came- watched a short youtube video on how to do layers on Procreate, and decided that I would be better analyze this image by outline his facial features, as I did on my second video, but on a DIFFERENT layer and drop that layer onto the death mask of Joseph Smith.
The video below is crude, but a very REAL reaction in real time, have just verified HOW to do layers and the comparison was legit in that moment... I seriously had no idea that death mask, taken after he fell two flights, shot in the chest repeatedly, after rigamortis, that there would be an accurate match, in a slowly swelling dead man's face, but it MATCH my man's image and I was shook...
After this video, I figured out how to superimpose the death mask, by upping and lowering the opacity of the death mask. Video below...
The last video of Summer 2017, I had emailed the Church History Department, of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and life got super stressful and overwhelming and I kindof went,
"Well, I hope my email to them inspires them to take that ebay seller seriously, if he has contacted them"... I had no response and gave up.
I showed some people my videos and to be frank, my own friends and family weren't super supportive, and one friend from Church, although nice, as as person, didn't get why I cared so much,
"Why... are you doing this..."
I just couldn't let it go, I had been informed by my mother that we were related to Joseph Smith and as I studied his face, I began to feel for him, what he'd been through, and I felt like my own harsh features- like my nose and ears that stick out, maybe were also a part of the Prophet of the Restoration, that I am related to (distantly... but I am...), guess I felt a special connection to the poor man, honestly all I ever hoped to find was a high resolution copy of "older Joseph".
October 2017 I was on my long ride home from work, I decided that I should read the Juvenile Instructor website, and try to find the ebay seller "G". I felt the Spirit REALLY strong that ride home and was very curious about this, so I came home and reread the ENTIRE contentious blog post and went onto ebay and searched and... I found the seller. We conversed, I will not go into detail, out of respect for him, but he was nice, his collection was large, he had a lot of other "Smith" photos in his store, but was quick to explain that they were NOT a part of the "Smith family album" that my image was from. He had a picture he tried to sell me as "his wife"- as it was written "Mrs. Smith"- from my memory (kicking myself for not screenshotting this as my store is gone... ugh), but as she had light eyes, was very over weight and Emma Smith stayed rather slender and had dark brown eyes... Only 2 images remained from the "Smith Family Photo Album" (I actually own one and think I might know who it is, I think he's someone's great Uncle, really might pay a professional to find out ;), the other I lost in the bid and soon after this seller began destroying his carte de Vistes, painting over faces and other strange things, then his whole store shut down... Like I said, he was selling many other old photographs and just happened to think it was Joseph, he is not a member of the Church of Jesus Christ, and I find it completely unfair people berated him for not knowing Church History... when he wasn't even a member of the Church, I believe he just had some RLDS family members, as his "aunt" was on the "high council"... Women aren't on the High Council in the Church of Jesus Christ (it's a priesthood office).
As stated on my many other pages of research, it wasn't until I had bought the image that I knew one, that it was CDV and two that it was taken in "Newark, Illinois". I had not researched clothing styles before, but that was my first step and I was GREATLY relieved that he matched with 1840s clothing, as Joseph Smith died in 1844.
I spent my free time studying every single picture of Joseph's sons to see if they had any matching clothing and had the persistent thought to research "Joseph Smith's Vest" and came upon the ENSIGN article about items once owned by Joseph Smith and found a blue, white and black striped vest, passed from Emma Smith- to Malissa Lott (his plural wife), thus making it's way to OOtah... that matched in the variation of shades of the horizontal lines, cross striations and swirls (I discovered this year, 2019 actually, when I saw it in person),it was a very cool moment...
Newark, Illinois, where my image was printed, was where many members of the Church lived, as reported by Apostles in the Spring of 1844, and Joseph's Presidential bid- actually campaigned there (Bibbins was Methodist, not LDS, per his family history). 200 miles apart, traveling between the two places was actually not that difficult for Joseph Smith... At this point I was only somewhat knowledgeable about history of Photography, but I was excited, I felt that my case was solid, given how numerous facial features and WRINKLES, EYEBROW HAIRS were matches... I made a youtube video about everything, seen below:
The video above was made just four days after I had bought the image, after meeting someone incredible, I believed it was Joseph Smith and felt with the vest, the right location (where the Church was growing before Joseph's death), I would have enough to get some help from the Church, I am a part of. After a funny phone call to the Church Headquarters, I was given a website that she said would get a response (told her how I had already contacted the Church History Dept. and had no response two months earlier), she also mentioned where to mail my "donated item" to the History Dept and I of course hesitated, as I had an inklinkling it would not be treated seriously and thrown into a dusty corner... oh how I underestimated how much negativity Utahns would give me... (Oregon girl all the way, and I an a second gen. member).
First, I quickly getting emails from a Missionary in the Church History Dept, forwarding an email from a Church Historian (with his contact information), stating how flawed my work was and how he just believed the Scannell Daguerreotype was a closer resemblance and MAINLY that my image was as CDV- PROVED that it couldn't have been taken before 1844, and he thought that paper photography didn't exist in 1844 (not true), "only daguerreotypes" did (both invented at the same time actually and you could reprint paper photos years before Joseph's death)... The thought came to me to research Emma's photograph and found that the Joseph Smith Papers ironically, stated that a CDV (reprint) of Emma Smith was originally taken in 1845 (as she is holding her youngest son- born in 1844), clearly this man was totally unaware of something others in his department knew. So, I replied directly to him, probably tiking him off, excitedly about this and was ignored, BUT... soon an young archivist began emailing with for probably a week...
The conversation with an archivist went on for a few days, and he got pretty angry; his statements how my man's collar was NOT high enough on his neck to be 1840s which made me believe he was JUST a Historian and not an artist nor one with very good eyes, as that collar is covering his jaw line, it's so high up his neck (and arguing how the eyebrows weren't round like Maudsley drew him... and neither are his eyebrows arched and round on the death mask brother...) It wasn't until I said I was done trying to explain myself that I realized the archivist wasn't the one "sparring" with me, but he was quoting an unnamed Church Historian, making two high up there Church Historians in 2017, not on my side. I often wondering how many "Church Historians" were putting down the ebay seller in 2009, and I have concluded- probably a lot and this summer I read one that was in the exact.... same wording and beliefs as this sparring historian that I finally found out who he was, as I found the Ebay seller- same beliefs, same exact statements about how he didn't believe there were ANY photographs of Joseph, as surely he would have told John Taylor and showed them to him... Well, that's where John's statements get interesting as Joseph Smith III quote "refutes" the statements that there are no authentic pictures of his father, as... he has a daguerreotype of his father he uses to "sustain" his father's likeness, but NOT to paint the entire painting Rogers spent four days working hard on...