Dr. Fairbanks To Become Dean Of Utah Art School
Noted U-M Sculptor Will Head New Unit At Salt Lake City
Prof. Avard Fairbanks, associate professor at the University’s Institute of Fine Arts for the past 17 years, has accepted an appointment as dean of the newly created School of Fine Arts at the University of Utah, Salt Lake City.
Notice of the appointment was received from President A. Ray Olpin of the University of Utah, who said the new school will be functioning by next fall.
Prof. Fairbanks, known as one of America’s outstanding present-day sculptors, will help to organize the new School of Fine Arts which is a part of the University of Utah’s program for development and expansion in cultural progress and creative arts.
One hundred years ago, in 1847, Prof. Fairbanks’ grandparents migrated to Salt Lake City as pioneers in a century of the state’s development in natural resources.
Gives Views On Art
Long and intensive training and creative instinct that is thoroughly grounded in knowledge and truth, are said by Prof. Fairbanks to be the requisites for distinction as a sculptor.
“Mastery of an art can not be acquired at a moment’s notice, and sculpture, as with any of the arts, is a life work,” he said. “It requires a cumulation of a long process of work, development, adjusting and rearranging until art is able to stand on its own and survive criticism.”
The idea that one can wake up in the middle of the night with an inspiration and, presto, create a sonnet or a painting or a model for sculpture, does not gain favor with Prof. Fairbanks. Yet his career displays both the creative inspiration and the long training and discipline which go into the making of great art.
Born in Provo, Utah, in 1897, Prof. Fairbanks became interested in sculpture at the age of 12 and showed such ability that in 1910 and 1911 he was awarded scholarships to study at the Art Students’ League in New York under James Earle Fraser. When he was 14 years old, his work was shown in the National Academy of Design.
Studied In Paris
In 1913, Prof. Fairbanks went to Paris to study at the Ecole des Beaux Arts with Injalbert, the Academie Colarossi and the Ecole de la Grande Chaumiere. While at Paris his works were exhibited in the Grand Salon. He was forced to return to the United States at the outbreak of the first World war.
Prof. Fairbank’s teaching career began in 1920 when he was appointed assistant professor of art at the University of Oregon. He remained there until 1927, at which time he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship to Florence, Italy. He joined the staff of the University of Michigan in 1929.
Besides his master’s and doctor’s degrees in anatomy which Prof. Fairbanks acquired at the medical school here, he also received the degree of bachelor of fine arts at Yale in 1925 and master of fine arts at the University of Washington in 1929.
In addition to being resident artist on the University campus at the present time, Prof. Fairbanks has given lectures on art throughout the state and was called to teach automotive body design and styling in Detroit through the University’s Extension Service. During the war he worked with the Ford Motor Co. in the personnel department and the public relations department at the Willow Run bomber plant.
Works Widely Exhibited
Prof. Fairbank’s works have been exhibited at most of the outstanding institutions of art and learning in the United States, the Grand Salon of Paris, and at the World’s Expositions since 1915.
His most important art includes the heroic statue, “Lincoln, the Frontiersman,” completed in 1941 and erected at the Ewa Plantation school near Honolulu; the “Pioneer Family,” which was completed in the spring and is now being cast in bronze before erection in front of the North Dakota capital building; the “Ninety-First Division Memorial” at Fort Lewis, Wash.; the “Pioneer Mother Memorial” at Vancouver, Wash.; “Winter Quarters” memorial at Omaha, Neb.; “Nebula” at the New York World’s Fair; and “Rain,” which was selected among the works of America’s greatest sculptors for the Brookgreen Gardens in South Carolina.
He also designed a medal, “Courage,” which was given to Prime Minister Winston Churchill by Prime Minister W. L. Mackenzie King of Canada at a conference of the Commonwealth of Nations of Great Britain during the war.
Prof. Fairbanks, father of eight sons, is now living at 1051 Lincoln Ave. here. He has not decided when he will move to Salt Lake City.
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Ford Motor Co.
Willow Run Bomber Plant
Ann Arbor News
Avard T. Fairbanks
A. Ray Olpin
James Earle Fraser
William L. Mackenzie King