Sam Butcher, artist who created Precious Moments figurines of teardrop-eyed children, dies at 85

CARTHAGE, Mo. (AP) — Sam Butcher, the artist who created the Treasured Moments collectible figurines depicting angelic teardrop-eyed kids, has died. He was 85.

The corporate mentioned in a Fb submit that he died early Monday surrounded by household. It mentioned his life’s mission was “to share God’s reward of affection with the world.” No particulars about his reason behind demise have been offered.

A few of the Christian-themed collectible figurines characteristic Bible verses or kids praying. Followers have collections numbering within the a whole bunch, whereas critics deride them as kitsch.

Butcher’s childhood love of illustrating received a wider viewers when he started telling Bible tales on a kids’s ministry tv present whereas he drew. That have led to him cofounding a enterprise in 1974 named Jonathan & David after the biblical figures, based on his on-line obituary.

Early choices included greeting playing cards. And inside a couple of years, these drawings have been reworked into porcelain collectible figurines.

Hundreds of designs have been produced over the many years, and followers of his work flock annually to the Treasured Moments Inspiration Park and Treasured Moments Chapel in Carthage, Missouri.

The cornerstone of the pastel-painted, non-denominational oasis is the chapel, which Butcher was impressed to construct by a 1983 journey to the Sistine Chapel in Rome. It consists of 84 Biblical murals that cowl greater than 5,000 sq. toes.

“He was such an especially gifted artist, however he by no means took the credit score for his expertise,” mentioned Joette Blades, the director of the chapel and a buddy. “He at all times mentioned that it was a present from God, and he gave God all of the glory for all the abilities that he had.”

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