James Earle Fraser - American sculptor

Welcome Guest! Need help? Our coin forum is completely free and you can get help in minutes. Register Now!

Robert Ball Hughes

James Earle Fraser (November 4, 1876 – October 11, 1953) was an American sculptor during the first half of the 20th century. His work is integral to many of Washington, D.C.'s most iconic structures.

Fraser was born in Winona, Minnesota. His father, Thomas Fraser, was an engineer who worked for railroad companies as they expanded across the American West. A few months before his son was born, Thomas Fraser was one of a group of men sent to recover the remains of the 7th Cavalry Regiment following George Armstrong Custer's disastrous engagement with the Lakota, Cheyenne, and Arapaho forces at the Battle of the Little Bighorn.

As a child, James Fraser was exposed to frontier life and the experience of Native Americans, who were being pushed ever further west or confined to Indian reservations. These early memories were expressed in many of his works, from his earlier trials, such as the bust Indian Princess, to his most famous projects, such as End of the Trail and the Indian Head (Buffalo) nickel.

Fraser began carving figures from pieces of limestone scavenged from a stone quarry close to his home near Mitchell, South Dakota in early life. He attended classes at The School of The Art Institute of Chicago in 1890 and studied at the École des Beaux Arts and the Académie Julian in Paris in the late 19th century. Early in his career, Fraser served as an assistant to Richard Bock and Augustus Saint-Gaudens; he formed his own studio in 1902. He also taught at the Art Students League in New York City beginning in 1906, and later became its director. His work was also part of the sculpture event in the art competition at the 1928 Summer Olympics.

Among his earliest works were sculptural pieces at the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893 and, for the 1915 Panama–Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco, one of his most famous pieces, End of the Trail. Also for the San Francisco Exposition, Fraser created a "mate" to "End of the Trail," called "The Pioneer." While both were meant to be cast in bronze, material shortages due to World War I prevented this. After the Exposition, the original plaster statues were moved to Mooney's Grove Park in Visalia, CA. Exposed to the elements, they slowly deteriorated. "The Pioneer" was destroyed in an earthquake, while "End of the Trail" was obtained by the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in 1968 and restored. The restored statue is currently on display in the entryway of the Oklahoma City museum, and the original that sat in Visalia, CA, was replaced with a bronze replica. The original bronze replica statue of the End of the Trail Statue is located in Shaler Park, in Waupun, Wisconsin. The statue was purchased by inventor and sculptor, Clarence Addison Shaler, and donated to the City of Waupun on June 23, 1929.

Fraser's work in Washington includes The Authority of Law and The Contemplation of Justice at the U.S. Supreme Court; the south pediment and statues at the National Archives; Alexander Hamilton and Albert Gallatin at the U.S. Treasury; and the Second Division Monument, completed with the firm of architect John Russell Pope. His commissions also include coins and medals, such as the World War I Victory Medal, the Navy Cross, and the Indian Head (Buffalo) nickel. This coin was discontinued after 1938, but has since been reprised in 2001 on a US commemorative coin, and more recently on a gold buffalo one ounce gold bullion coin.

Fraser’s major works include two heroic bronze equestrian statues titled The Arts of Peace, designed for the entrance to the Rock Creek and Potomac Parkway, behind the Lincoln Memorial. The pair was a companion to sculptor Leo Friedlander's The Arts of War, installed immediately to the south at the east end of Arlington Memorial Bridge. The groups had been designed in the 1930s but were not cast until the 1950s, because of a shortage of metals during World War II.

Fraser was a member of the National Academy of Design, the National Sculpture Society, and the Architectural League of New York. His numerous awards and honors include election to the National Institute of Arts and Letters and gold medal from the Architectural League in 1925. He served on the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts in Washington, D.C., from 1920 to 1925.

Muralist Barry Faulkner, a friend of Fraser’s from their days in Paris together described Fraser like this: "His character was like a good piece of Scotch tweed, handsome, durable and warm." (see Wilkonson, References) Fraser's papers and those of his wife, sculptor Laura Gardin Fraser, are held at the Special Collections Research Center at Syracuse University Library, the Smithsonian Archives of American Art, and the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum.


James Earle Fraser Related Items on eBay

eBay Certified Application

Click on any of the boxes to see much larger images.

All James Earle Fraser related items on ebay

TOKEN: CHRISTIAN GOBRECHT 15TH IN A SERIES 30MM BRONZE
TOKEN: CHRISTIAN GOBRECHT 15TH IN A SERIES 30MM BRONZE
TOKEN HANOVER PA CHRISTIAN GOBRECHT 1981 CH BU 35 MM BRONZE
TOKEN   HANOVER PA   CHRISTIAN GOBRECHT   1981 CH BU   35 MM BRONZE
TOKEN HANOVER PA CHRISTIAN GOBRECHT 1976 31 MM BRASS
TOKEN   HANOVER PA   CHRISTIAN GOBRECHT   1976   31 MM BRASS
THE METAL ARTS COMPANY INC CHRISTIAN GOBRECHT .999 SILVER 6.865 OZ
THE METAL ARTS COMPANY INC CHRISTIAN GOBRECHT .999 SILVER   6.865 OZ
1970 BRONZE MEDAL HONORING CHRISTIAN GOBRECHT HANOVER PA
1970 BRONZE MEDAL HONORING CHRISTIAN GOBRECHT HANOVER PA
1963 CHRISTIAN GOBRECHT EAGLE THE METAL ART CO.999 SILVER ROUND MEDAL 6.76 OZT
1963 CHRISTIAN GOBRECHT EAGLE THE METAL ART CO.999 SILVER ROUND MEDAL 6.76 OZT
CHRISTIAN GOBRECHT SITTING LIBERTY MEDAL VINTAGE TOKEN
CHRISTIAN GOBRECHT SITTING LIBERTY MEDAL  VINTAGE TOKEN
1970 HANOVER NUMISMATIC SOCIETY CHRISTIAN GOBRECHT BRONZE MEDAL W1945
1970 HANOVER NUMISMATIC SOCIETY CHRISTIAN GOBRECHT BRONZE MEDAL W1945
1968 CHRISTIAN GOBRECHT MEDAL BENJAMIN FRANKLIN COIN CLUB HANOVER PA TOKEN
1968 CHRISTIAN GOBRECHT MEDAL BENJAMIN FRANKLIN COIN CLUB HANOVER PA TOKEN
1776 1976 CHRISTIAN GOBRECHT HANOVER PA. 1785 1844 COIN CLUB MEDAL
1776 1976 CHRISTIAN GOBRECHT HANOVER PA. 1785 1844 COIN CLUB MEDAL
1963 CHRISTIAN GOBRECHT FLYING EAGLE UNC 76MM BRONZE METAL ARTS MEDAL
1963 CHRISTIAN GOBRECHT FLYING EAGLE UNC 76MM BRONZE METAL ARTS MEDAL
LOT OF 4 DIFFERENT 1974 CHRISTIAN GOBRECHT HANOVER PA COIN CLUB BRONZE MEDALS
LOT OF 4 DIFFERENT 1974 CHRISTIAN GOBRECHT HANOVER PA COIN CLUB BRONZE MEDALS
1979 CHRISTIAN GOBRECHT HANOVER PA BRONZE COIN CLUB MEDAL LE BUF
1979 CHRISTIAN GOBRECHT HANOVER PA BRONZE COIN CLUB MEDAL LE BUF
1977 HANOVER NUMISMATIC SOCIETY 32MM CHRISTIAN GOBRECHT MEDAL SURVIVING SIGNER
1977 HANOVER NUMISMATIC SOCIETY 32MM CHRISTIAN GOBRECHT MEDAL SURVIVING SIGNER
1969 HANOVER NUMISMATIC SOCIETY 32MM CHRISTIAN GOBRECHT MEDAL SEATED WOMAN
1969 HANOVER NUMISMATIC SOCIETY 32MM CHRISTIAN GOBRECHT MEDAL SEATED WOMAN
1971 HANOVER NUMISMATIC SOCIETY 32MM CHRISTIAN GOBRECHT MEDAL ARCHIMEDES
1971 HANOVER NUMISMATIC SOCIETY 32MM CHRISTIAN GOBRECHT MEDAL ARCHIMEDES
 

Disclaimer: While a tremendous amount of effort goes into ensuring the accuracy of the information contained in this site, Coin Community assumes no liability for errors. Copyright 2005 - 2021 Coin Community Family- all rights reserved worldwide. Use of any images or content on this website without prior written permission of Coin Community or the original lender is strictly prohibited.
Contact Us  |  Advertise Here  |  Privacy Policy / Terms of Use