Avard Tennyson Fairbanks (March 2, 1897 – January 1, 1987) was a prolific 20th century American sculptor. Three of his sculptures are in the United States Capitol, and the state capitols in both Utah and Wyoming, as well as numerous other locations, also have his works.
Possibly his most well-known artistic contribution was designing the ram symbol for Dodge.
Fairbanks studied in at the Art Students League of New York beginning at age 13 and the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in the atelier of Jean Antoine Injalbert beginning at age 17. Fairbanks received his bachelor's degree from Yale University and his master's degree from the University of Washington. For three years Fairbanks studied on a Guggenheim Fellowship in Florence, Italy. He received his Ph.D. in anatomy from the University of Michigan. He was also a professor of sculpture at the University of Michigan.
His father was John B. Fairbanks, who was an artist and art professor. His mother, Lilly Annetta Huish, died about a year after he was born. She was a cousin of Orson Pratt Huish. Avard's brother J. Leo Fairbanks was also an artist, and helped Fairbanks start sculpting as a teenager.
While Fairbanks was living in Ann Arbor, he served for a time as the president of the branch of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in that city.
Among Fairbanks' children is Jonathan Leo Fairbanks, who was curator of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts in the early 1990s.
In 1918, Avard worked with his brother J. Leo Fairbanks on friezes for the Laie Hawaii Temple. It was during this time that he married Beatrice Maude Fox in Honolulu, Hawaii. She was a native of Salt Lake City whom he had met in Utah and convinced to come join him in Hawaii so they could marry. This would not be Fairbanks' last connection with temples. The statues of the Angel Moroni on the Washington D.C. Temple, the Jordan River Utah Temple, Seattle Washington Temple and the São Paulo Brazil Temple are all Fairbanks' work.
Three Witnesses Monument, by Avard Fairbanks.Many of the sculptures on Temple Square in Salt Lake City are by Fairbanks, including the Three Witnesses Monument.
For a time in the 1920s Fairbanks was a member of the faculty of the University of Oregon. It was while here that he made his Oregon Trail sculpture. Fairbanks later became a professor at the University of Utah.
He created a sculpture of the restoration of the Melchizedek priesthood for the Mormon Pavilion at the 1964 New York World's Fair.
Although most of his later work was free-standing sculptures, Fairbanks did return to the frieze when he made some for the Harold B. Lee Library on Brigham Young University campus.
Fairbanks made a statue of Lycurgus that led to his being knighted by King Paul of Greece. He has also done multiple statues of Abraham Lincoln and George Washington.
A view of Meadowbrook Hall from the northeast garden with the Pegasus sculpture by Avard FairbanksHe created the Pegasus sculpture in the northeast garden at the Meadow Brook Hall in Rochester Hills, Michigan.