Avard T. Fairbanks Art

Avard T. Fairbanks carving Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln Sculpture Created by Avard T. Fairbanks.

To purchase this profusely illustrated book click here.

An outstanding addition to the historical record of 20th Century American artists.

This book (compiled and written by his son, Eugene F. Fairbanks) shows the sculpture, the planning and labor involved in bringing these artistic monuments and bas-reliefs into the physical realm for all to experience.

First published in January 2003 in hardback (still available), this new edition is laminated paperback.

Avard T. Fairbanks carving Abraham Lincoln

This lifelong professional artist had a career spanning the 20th century. He looked at positive role models and built physical monuments that personified the principals espoused for future generations to take example from.

Scroll down the page for examples of the illustrations.


This book is dedicated to the memory of my mother, Maude F. Fairbanks, and to Avard T. Fairbanks, my father. Let it serve as a documentary of his sincere efforts to portray Abraham Lincoln as an inspiration to the nation. An expression of gratitude is not complete without recognizing the encouragement and influence of two skilled artists, John B. Fairbanks, his father, and J. Leo Fairbanks, his oldest brother. They have bestowed upon Avard and other members of their family a reverence and love for art.


The original inspiration for compiling a book of the Abraham Lincoln sculptures created by Dr. Avard T. Fairbanks came many years ago, during the completion of Lincoln The Frontiersman. Text and illustrations document the motivation and circumstances to create masterpieces, for public interest and appreciation. Recording the modeling of the heroic statue, the casting, and the background events seems appropriate. Details of the essential research efforts might be helpful to aspiring sculptors.

An artist must study history and the personality to be portrayed in order to be able to render a likeness and express a message; therefore resource facilities and a bibliography are included. Other heroic monuments are discussed, as many aspects differ with each statue. The political process is important for funding and location. Without the numerous committee meetings and the efforts by collaborating individuals, monuments are unlikely to come to fruition.

As the author visited monument sites and studied history, renewed inspirations supported the writing. It became apparent that there had already been many articles in periodicals about these monuments created by Avard Fairbanks. Generally these articles have been of such excellent composition that they deserve inclusion. Therefore, whenever articles by distinguished authors were acquired, approval for their inclusion was solicited and they were included in the text. Articles and quotations by the sculptor were also included wherever they apply. The author has arranged these articles by Lincoln scholars with appropriate illustrations of sculpture. Introductory and connecting paragraphs supply further information. Other commentaries and descriptions have been written by the author after diligent search of history and literature about Abraham Lincoln.

Click here for the Table of Contents of the book.

Abraham Lincoln, Youth
Abraham Lincoln, frontiersman
Abraham Lincoln, lawyer
Abraham Lincoln, president

The Four Ages of Abraham Lincoln

Broadcast Music, Inc., commissioned the distinguished American sculptor, Avard Fairbanks, to create four heroic size portraits in marble of Abraham Lincoln that were later presented to the National Government for the Lincoln Sesquicentennial. These measured 21-inches tall, 10-inches wide, and 9-inches deep, depicting Lincoln at various stages of his life: Lincoln The Youth, Lincoln The Pioneer, Lincoln The Lawyer, and Lincoln The President.

In ceremonies at the Ford Theater, Lincoln Museum, February 1, 1960, the four marble heads of the Great Emancipator were unveiled. Participating in this unveiling were Senator John Sherman Cooper, Chairman of the Lincoln Sesquicentennial Commission; Carl Sandburg, noted poet and Lincoln biographer; Earl H. Hardin, prominent Lincoln collector; and the sculptor, Avard Fairbanks.

The original commissioning of these busts was undertaken as part of the art work to accompany a series of radio scripts prepared by Broadcast Music, Inc., for distribution among the nation's broadcast stations as a public service during the Lincoln sesquicentennial year. The scripts, entitled "Abraham Lincoln 1809-1959," are a part of the Broadcast Music, Inc., prize-winning series, "The American Story."

Abraham Lincoln by Avard T. Fairbanks

Lincoln The Frontiersman

The heroic bronze monument of Lincoln The Frontiersman at the school in Ewa, Hawaii, is the manifestation of a real human interest story. An article written by Thomas I. Starr, a Lincoln scholar, was published in the Lincoln Herald, and it serves to introduce the background events and fulfillment of the dream of Katherine Burke, the monument donor.

For the full story, please purchase the book: Lincoln Sculptures by Avard T. Fairbanks.

Fairbanks Sculpting

Sculptor Fairbanks attends to final details on the clay model.

Armature of Lincoln the Frontiersman by Avard T. Fairbanks

When his Lincoln The Frontiersman statue for Hawaii was nearing completion, Avard Fairbanks gave a photograph to a visiting news reporter. A few weeks later, much to his surprise and delight, a dozen of the leading journals of the nation featured that portrait on the Lincoln's Birthday edition.


The Detroit News printed it as a full-page reproduction. This was a spontaneous editorial recognition of a masterpiece. The sculptor had molded into lifeless clay the feelings, the animation, and the character of a great historic figure recreated in the vigor of youth.

Lincoln the Frontiersman

The casting process is explained in the book.

Lincoln Statue for New Salem

Making the Lincoln Statue for New Salem

By Avard Fairbanks

The task of creating the heroic statue Abraham Lincoln for New Salem has not been accomplished in a short period of time, but was the result of years of study. From my early impressions, from my teachers in elementary school, from a study of American history, and from a close sympathy with Lincoln's pioneer heritage, I have deeply revered his life and his struggles. I have gathered information from many and various sources, and have intimately associated with students of Lincolniana. Also, being one who lost his own mother at an early age, I have sensed the spirit of his mother, Nancy Hanks Lincoln, guide of his childhood.

I have made other compositions and other statutes of Lincoln, but since there has not been a study in sculpture of his New Salem period, it was a challenging opportunity to bring to the people of America this phase of the determining years of his life.

For the full story, please purchase the book: Lincoln Sculptures by Avard T. Fairbanks.

Lincoln Statue for Chicago

The Chicago Lincoln, A Heroic Monument in Bronze

Erected at Ravenwood's Lincoln Square in Chicago North Side Confluence of Lincoln, Lawrence, and Western Avenue

The Chicago Lincoln: A Chance To Portray Liberty

By Avard Fairbanks

Lincoln has become so universally admired and accepted by all people of all nations as the symbol of FREEDOM that a monument to him evokes our profound veneration and strikes a responsive chord from all liberty-loving people everywhere.

To make a statue of this great character and to erect it in that part of the country which gave him his early development and growth into public life is an honor; and to be selected by a commission of the great state of Illinois is indeed an opportunity for a sculptor. Of course, such recognition brings forth from an artist the very utmost in creative efforts and his technical skills.

In giving utterance to a sculptor's inner reactions and the impressions of his mind as he works upon such a project, one must say that the challenge is awe-inspiring. It captures the very heights of imagination and causes one to want to prove his capabilities, which he has spent his life's efforts in developing. And such a realization comes in the heroic portrayal in bronze of Abraham Lincoln in Illinois.

For the full story, please purchase the book: Lincoln Sculptures by Avard T. Fairbanks.


A Heroic Monument in Bronze Erected at The Lincoln Federal Savings and Loan Association, Berwyn, Illinois

"The better part of one's Life consists of his Friendships." Abraham Lincoln wrote these words in a letter to Judge Gillespie.

Inscribed at the base of this monument is the quotation from our sixteenth president, which emphasized his warm interest in the life of the community and especially the children of the community.

Frank Kinst, a student of Lincoln lore and president of The Lincoln Federal Savings and Loan Association of Berwyn, Illinois, wanted to make his bank one of the suburban showplaces. A new bank building was planned with attractive modern architecture. Several years previously he had arranged for The Lincoln Federal Savings and Loan Association, a banking company, to commission Avard Fairbanks to create a colossal portrait in marble.

Abraham Lincoln
Avard T. Fairbanks
Abraham Lincoln

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