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JAMES EARLE FRASER
A precocious draftsman and sculptor at a young age, James Earle Fraser (1876-1953) completed a model for his well known sculpture The End of the Trail at age 17, while a student at the Art Institute of Chicago. In 1893, Fraser moved to Paris to study at the École des Beaux Arts. A small bronze cast of The End of the Trail was included in the 1898 Salon, where it caught the attention of renowned sculptor Augustus Saint Gaudens. Fraser became Saint Gaudens' assistant and worked with him for four years before returning to the United States, finally establishing his own studio in Macdougal Alley in Greenwich Village. Throughout his long career, Fraser received numerous commissions for large-scale public sculptures, as well as for medals and coins. These include the figure of Alexander Hamilton for the U.S. Treasury Building in Washington, D.C, the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial in New York's Central Park, and the five-cent piece known as the "buffalo nickel." The nickel was struck during the same year that Fraser exhibited some of his works in the Armory Show of 1913. Fraser was a sculpture instructor at the Art Students League from 1906 through 1911.
"James E. Fraser: American Sculptor" in Craftsman 18.3 (June 1910)
The Craftsman was published and edited by Gustav Stickley, the leader of the American Arts and Crafts movement. The article on Fraser emphasizes the artist's ability to capture in his work a sensibility that is intimately tied to his American identity.