Edward J. Fraughton was born and grew up in Park City, a once-thriving mining town high in the mountains of Utah. His great love for horses and Western history came from tales of the Old West heard while sitting on his father’s knee. In grade school, he became infatuated with the horse-stories of Walter Farley, Will James and Zane Grey. Working summers on a sheep ranch and indulging in Saturday matinees at the Egyptian Theater, Gene Autry, Pat Butram, Roy Rogers and Andy Divine eventually became friends and acquaintances to help round out his early education. His first national art award came at age ten.
A founding member of the National Academy of Western Art (NAWA), Fraughton’s latest monumental achievements include: his portion of the 10-year, 5-city block long Pioneer Courage Monument project located in Omaha, Nebraska, and a 20-foot high The Ancient Ones Monument (enlarged from his 1977 NAWA Gold Medal Anasazi) for the new museum and visitor’s center at Mesa Verde National Park near Cortez, Colorado. To commemorate the American West’s contribution to today’s modern skiing industry, his latest heroic monument, A Man To Match My Mountains, a 14-foot-high monumental tribute to Dick Bass, native Texan, legendary mountain-climber, skier and co-founder of Snowbird Ski Resort in Utah, stands proudly against his tall mountains. Fraughton’s current work is focused on a conceptual model for an epic religious monument portraying the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Considering himself fortunate to have studied sculpture from traditional masters who emphasized classic design, human and animal anatomy, Fraughton has never stopped learning and teaching. Mentoring various workshops and briefly serving on the Board of the National Sculpture Society, he helped launch a new online New Masters Academy of Fine Arts and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Beaux Arts Academy of Utah.