New in the Collection: Six large sepia drawings by Dean Fausett
of the Powell Expedition into the Grand Canyon, 1869
William Dean Fausett was born in Price, Utah on July 4, 1913. He graduated from Brigham Young University and continued his studies at the Art Students League in New York City. Most of his career was spent in Dorset where he died on December 13, 1998. He was part of the group responsible for the founding of the Southern Vermont Arts Center and served as its President in 1959 and 1960.
Fausett is considered a distinguished American artist with an international reputation who painted landscapes, portraits and murals. He received two Guggenheim Fellowships and was the recipient of the Carnegie International Prize. His work is in many important collections today including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Whitney Museum of American Art and The Museum of Modern Art.
He made portraits of many well-known figures; Ronald Regan, Dwight D. Eisenhower, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor and Grandma Moses were among his subjects. The portrait of Grandma Moses on her 100th birthday permanently hangs in the Grandma Moses School House, in Eagle Bridge, New York. And when Dwight Eisenhower first took office he requested that "Derby View," a Vermont landscape painted by Fausett, be hung in his office. The Metropolitan Museum agreed to the loan for the duration of his presidency.
The Dorset Historical Society has just acquired six large sepia drawings by Fausett of the well-known Powell expedition into the Grand Canyon in 1869. With nine or ten men and four boats Powell, a Civil War veteran, set out to explore the unmapped territory of the Grand Canyon traveling the Green and Colorado Rivers. Men and boats were lost but the journey was considered a success. Fausett was commissioned by the United States Bureau of Reclamation in 1964, to recreate the journey, which he did by using Powell's extensive journals and visiting the site to follow the path of the original group. His final series of drawings is much larger than what we have, but the six drawings that will be exhibited in the Venetian Red Gallery from the end of May through 2010, are strikingly full of action and energy in the style associated with much of Fausett's work. The sepia on paper drawing above is titled Fire in Camp.
Other Fausett work coming from local and private collections will also be part of this important exhibition at the Dorset Historical Society during 2010.