Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Casper in Natrona County, Wyoming — The American West (Mountains)
 

Giving Shape to History

 
 
Giving Shape to History	 Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 2, 2015
1. Giving Shape to History Marker
Inscription.
This larger-than-life sculpture, “The Pony Express”, was conceived and created by the heart and hands of Avard Tennyson Fairbanks (1897 – 1987).

Born into an artistic family in Provo, Utah, Avard Fairbanks showed childhood talent for creative expression by sculpting animals from clay. As he grew, he sought new learning experiences to further his ability in giving shape to the history that inspired him. After studying Fine Art at Yale University, sculpting in marble while in Italy on a fellowship, and teaching while continuing his education at the University of Michigan, by 1936 Avard Fairbanks earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree in anatomy.

To celebrate the Utah Centennial in 1947, the sculptor rendered this dynamic symbol of American pioneer spirit, based on the qualities of vigorous youth encouraged by strength and wisdom of an older generation. While various Pony Express sculptures exist, this work is unique in depicting two men and two horses. The interdependence of humans and horses was key to the success of the Pony Express.

Professor Fairbanks expressed his philosophy in his creations – that the arts can ennoble the highest ambitions and spiritual hope of a people, and their meaning can be understood by people of all ages. This magnificent example of his love for art was donated
Giving Shape to History	 Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 2, 2015
2. Giving Shape to History Marker
to the United States of America by the sons of Avard Fairbanks, in August 2001.
 
Location. 42° 52.04′ N, 106° 20.272′ W. Marker is in Casper, Wyoming, in Natrona County. Marker is on Wilkins Way, on the right when traveling east. Click for map. Marker and statue are located at the National Historic Trails Interpretive Center. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1501 N. Poplar Street, Casper WY 82601, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. City of Casper (approx. one mile away); Pioneer Monument / Fort Casper (approx. 1.3 miles away); Monument Corrections (approx. 1.3 miles away); Wyoming's Oil & Gas (approx. 1.4 miles away); Cable Tool Drilling Rig (approx. 1.4 miles away); Oregon-California Trail (approx. 1.4 miles away); Casper: "The Oil Capital of the Rockies" (approx. 1.6 miles away); The Armory (approx. 2.4 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Casper.
 
More about this marker. A photo of the sculptor on the marker contains the caption “Still masterful in his early 80s, Professor Fairbanks is shown above working on a clay bust of George Washington. American Presidents were a favorite subject – the sculptor produced several works of Abraham Lincoln as well.”
Another
Giving Shape to History	 Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 2, 2015
3. Giving Shape to History Marker
photo includes a caption of “Perfecting the scaled rendition of a concept model known as a maquette, Avard Fairbanks takes a break in his studio at right, circa 1946, with “The Pony Express” showing progress.”
 
Categories. Roads & VehiclesSettlements & Settlers
 
The Pony Express image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 2, 2015
4. The Pony Express
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 132 times since then and 7 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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