Susquehanna Antique Company - American Artists and Furniture
After James Earle Fraser, American 1876-1953

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Directory: Fine Art: Sculpture: Iron: Pre 1930: Item # 1100722

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SUSQUEHANNA Antique Company, Inc.
608 Cameron St
Old Town Alexandria, Va 22314
(202) 333-1511

Guest Book
 After James Earle Fraser, American 1876-1953

Bronze plated on iron, Fraser authorized many of these to be cast--they are all the same and erroneously called "bronze" since they are bronze plated on iron. Auction records for the identical item vary from about $325 if one is lucky to well over $3200 for people hungry for the model on that day. I want something far closer to the lower part of the records. bio from Having spent his childhood in the West, James Earle Fraser became one of the more famous American sculptors of cowboys, Indians, and horses. He also designed the Buffalo Nickel, which "has been called the first uniquely American coin." (Reynolds, 189). From 1920 to 1925, he served on the National Arts Commission, and played a key role in promoting American subject matter in public art. In 1919, he received the Saltus Medal*, the most prestigious medallic art award. He attended public school in Minneapolis, but lived much of the time in a railway car crossing through the Dakotas because his father was in charge of laying railroad track across the western plains. At age 18, with obvious art talent, he began studies at the Art Institute of Chicago* and there studied sculpture with Richard Bock. By age 20, he was a student in Paris at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts* and also studied at the Julian* and Colarossi Academies*. At age 22, he became an assistant in New York City to Augustus Saint- Gaudens before opening his own studio in New York. He "was probably Saint-Gauden's favorite assistant." (Reynolds, 189). Fraser's first important commission was a bust of Theodore Roosevelt in 1908. In 1913, he designed the U.S. "Buffalo Nickel, using three different Indians to get the single portrait. The bison on the reverse side was modeled after Black Diamond, a buffalo at the New York Zoo, and the Indian was modeled from three different persons whom Fraser knew: Chief Iron Trail, John Big Tree, and Two Moons. Two years later he completed his most memorable work, The End of the Trail, a dejected Indian sitting on a horse. Cast at the Roman Bronze Works*, it was originally modeled in 1894. The Seneca Chief John Big Tree was the model for the figure, which symbolizes the fate of the American Indians. A small version was exhibited at the Paris Salon* of 1898 where it won the American Artists Association John Wanamaker Prize. The 18-foot sculpture was exhibited at the Panama-Pacific Exposition* in San Francisco in 1915. The original 18 foot plaster version was acquired in 1968 and restored by the National Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City. Fraser was married to Laura Gardin, also an accomplished sculptor.

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