William Dean Fausett
William Dean Fausett was an American painter with a career that spanned sixty years. He painted portraits of such prominent figures as Ronald Reagan, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Joseph Smith, Ezra Taft Benson, Grandma Moses, and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. He was also known for his landscapes, watercolors, and paintings of the American West.
Dean Fausett was the brother of artist Lynn Fausett and worked for a time as his assistant. He was born in 1913 and raised in Carbon County, Utah, where his parents had been asked to settle by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Dean studied at the Art Students League in New York City on a scholarship when he was only sixteen. He also studied at Brigham Young University, the Beaux Arts Institute of Design, the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, Eastern Illinois University, and Europe.
Fausett’s work is held in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the New York City Museum of Fine Art, and regional art museums. He was honored with numerous awards including the Carnegie International Prize. He was president of the National Society of Mural Painters from 1979 to 1984 and was a fellow of the Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.
He taught art to underprivileged children at the Henry Street Settlement House Arts and Crafts School in New York. While director of the Herbert Institute of Art in Augusta, Georgia, he pained several murals. President Dwight D. Eisenhower commissioned him to be an artist-consultant for the chief of staff of the Air Force.
In 1946, Fausett looked for a home in New England, and at his father’s suggestion, he looked in Vermont, the home of some of their American Revolution ancestors. He settled in the Cephas Kent house, which was the site of four Vermont conventions from 1775 to 1776. The 500-year-old sugar maple that stood on his property figured prominently in some of his artwork.
He donated his papers, personal documents, correspondence, and transparencies to the Harold B. Lee Library at BYU. He died on December 13, 1998.