Avard T. Fairbanks Art

About the Author: Eugene F. Fairbanks

Eugene Fairbanks

Eugene F. Fairbanks, the second son of Maude and Avard T. Fairbanks, was born in 1921 in Eugene, Oregon, while sculptor Fairbanks was teaching art at the University of Oregon. During an appointment to the faculty of the University of Michigan, 1930-48, his sons often helped at the studio, assisting with modeling and plaster casting. They also learned about photography for sculpture. There was a progressive expectation of skill and responsibility for both sculpture and photography. This continued from grade school through high school and into college. An older brother chose engineering as a vocation. Younger brothers studied engineering, art, and medicine. The family, in time, had eight sons and two adopted daughters.

Eugene chose to study medicine. He married Florence Sundwall in 1944 in his last year of the University of Michigan Medical School, graduating in 1945. He interned at Wayne County General Hospital near Detroit, Michigan, and started raising a family. After internship he served in the Army Medical Corps as a transport surgeon on a troop transport ship. Following military service, he practiced medicine as a family physician in Pasco and Kennewick, Washington. After an anesthesiology residency in Seattle, in 1959, he moved the family to Bellingham, Washington, and practiced anesthesiology, then again as a family physician. He became a diplomat of both the American Board of Anesthesiology and the American Board of Family Physicians.

In time Florence and Eugene became the proud parents of five sons and five daughters. He practiced medicine in Bellingham until retirement in 1995. With Dr. Charles J. Flora, he co-authored a marine biology species identification handbook in 1966 and 1977, The Sound And The Sea. His first book about Avard Fairbanks' sculpture, A Sculptor's Testimony In Bronze And Stone (1972 and 1994), featured sacred sculpture. In 1995 he was asked to create a monument honoring fishermen of Bellingham lost at sea. This figure was modeled in a web locker (a net warehouse), at Squalicum Harbor and cast in bronze. It was erected and dedicated on Memorial Day, 1999, in Zuanich Point Park, Bellingham.

During spare moments in the practice of medicine, Eugene has composed poetry to complement his father's fantasy sculpture. He has collected photographs and made many enlargements of Fairbanks' sculpture for this and other projected publications. In 2001 he published A Sculpture Garden Of Fantasy, featuring the fantasy sculpture of Avard Fairbanks.

Abraham Lincoln Sculptures Created by Avard T. Fairbanks, was compiled over a number of years, and produced into a hard-bound book during the later part of 2002; in 2012 it was set up as a laminated soft-cover book. It contains more than 170 photos, some in color. It illustrates and details stages in development of monuments and lists sources of information to future sculptors.

Between 2002 and 2012 Eugene compiled two other books useful to artists: Human Proportions for Artists and Children's Proportions for Artists. You can visit their pages for more information about them.

Creating a Portrait in Sculpture, released in 2013, features Avard Fairbanks' demonstration of modeling a portrait of George Washington, with more than 150 photos showing each step of modeling process. It includes chapters on upper body proportions and anatomy for portrait artists, and the process of marble sculpting. Also shown are more than 40 other portraits of individuals done by Avard Fairbanks during his long career.

Brand new for 2014 is A Sculptor's Christmas Story. Avard T. Fairbanks Spirit of Christmas Through the Years. This compilation relates events of the personal life of Avard T. Fairbanks in contrast to the professional demands of the sculptor, his art education, development of his family, and his professional career with emphasis on sculpture and Christmas season traditions. Chronicles changing times in society in the 20th century, as well as modes of travel, commissions, and his teaching career. Approx. 160 photos of sculpture and family.

The next planned publication about Avard Fairbanks' sculpture is a book on Avard Fairbanks' technique of modeling statuettes.

For more comprehensive information about the various sculpture of Avard Fairbanks, click the book links at top of page.


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