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Mini Biographies of Scots and Scots Descendants (F)
Fraser, James Earl


James Earl Fraser died on October 11, 1953, at the age of 76 at Westport, Connecticut. Born in Winona, Minnesota and raised on the plains of the West, he had become one of America’s most noted sculptors.

At the age of eight, James Earl started carving things out of stone from a nearby quarry. His father wanted him to be an engineer, but he received such praise from railroad officials about his art that his father finally relented. At the age of 15, James Earl was sent to study at the Art Institute of Chicago.

Before he was 17, a model of one of his most celebrated works was completed. His “End of The Trail” statue showing a weary Indian slumped down over his rack-ribbed horse had been copied around the world. It is often regarded as the best-known sculpture in America.

In 1895, James Earl Fraser won a scholarship to study in Paris. It was here that he attracted the attention of Augustus St. Gaudens, with whom he immediately began to work.

On the north pylons of the Michigan Avenue bridge across the Chicago river is the large limestone depiction of The Pioneers and Discoverers by Fraser. Other works include the statue of Theodore Roosevelt as a Rough Rider in front of the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. His statue of Alexander Hamilton, for the Department of the Treasury in Washington is regarded as one of the best works of those practicing in the Saint-Gaudens tradition.

In 1913, James Earl Fraser designed the Indian head and buffalo nickel.

Learn more about him here!


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