Adventures of a Young Sculptor
The Development and Early Life of Avard T. Fairbanks, a 20th Century American Sculptor
by Avard T. Fairbanks (posthumously) and Eugene F. Fairbanks.
8.5" x 11", 330 pages, 255 illustrations and photos
Adventures of a Young Sculptor explores the early life of Avard T. Fairbanks, including the development of his professional career as a sculptor. Fairbanks was at that cusp of civilizations and artistic philosophies that saw modernism competing with realism, war overriding peace. He worked continually to promote realistic sculpture and peace. Fairbanks was born into a family of 17th century immigrants to the Massachusetts Bay Colony. His maternal grandfather invented a pin machine, which made child labor obsolete in that industry (much to the chagrin of some). His father and eldest brother were fine artists and teachers.
At 13, Avard was awarded a scholarship in New York City for studies at the Art Students League. He was doing copy work at the Metropolitan Museum and developing animal sculptures at the Bronx Zoo. His father then took him to Paris to study at L'Ecole des Beaux Arts with masters of fine sculpture. At the start of WWI they were able to escape on the last train out of Paris. Fairbanks finished his high school studies back in Utah. At 16, he was an artist employed on the University of Utah archaeological expedition into southern Utah to the Natural Bridges area, to establish information about the ancient cliff dwelling tribes' culture and habitat.
At 19, he and his eldest brother created the sculptures for the LDS Hawaiian Temple. After WWI he began his career in earnest by promoting and modeling the Idaho Doughboy monument. He continued his studies and teaching career in Oregon, and then studied in Italy on a Guggenheim Fellowship. In 1929 he was appointed to the faculty of the University of Michigan in the newly established Institute of Fine Art. He was instrumental in showing how sculptural methods could refine automobile body design. His early career as a sculptor and educator is described herein, with an Afterword detailing his many later accomplishments. This book joins the collection of nine books based on his artistic work, authored by his son Eugene F. Fairbanks.
Front cover: Hawaiian Surfers relief by Avard T. Fairbanks.