Charles Fraser (artist)

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Charles Fraser
Alvan Fisher - Portrait of the American painter Charles Fraser.jpg
Portrait of Fraser by Alvan Fisher, 1819
BornAugust 20, 1782
DiedOctober 5, 1860
Charleston, South Carolina, U.S.
OccupationLawyer, painter

Charles Fraser (August 20, 1782 – October 5, 1860), was an American artist best known for his miniatures of prominent American figures.[1]

Early life[edit]

Charles Fraser was born at Charleston, South Carolina in 1782. His parents died when he was nine years old and thereafter, he was raised by his older brother, Frederick Fraser. He studied law and practiced until 1818,[1] but afterwards devoted himself to art. He attended the classical academy of Bishop Robert Smith in Charleston along with Thomas Sully.[2]


At various points in his career, he was associated with Washington Allston and John Stevens Cogdell. In 1806, he visited Newport, Rhode Island where he met up with John Trumbull and Gilbert Stuart.[2]

In 1825, he painted a portrait of Marquis de Lafayette. His talent was very diversified, and in 1857, at an exhibition of his works at Charleston, there were shown 313 miniatures and 139 landscapes and other pieces by him. He was also a frequent orator in Charleston. For instance, he delivered the dedication address at Magnolia Cemetery in 1850.[3] He also delivered an address on the dedication of a new building on the College of Charleston campus in 1828.[4]

In 1830, he was elected into the National Academy of Design as an Honorary Academician, and elected a member of the American Antiquarian Society in 1834.[5]

Fraser died at Charleston in 1860.



  1. ^ a b Fraser, Charles (1800–1819). Book of Precedents. Retrieved 2 September 2014.
  2. ^ a b "Charles Fraser :: The Johnson Collection, LLC (Spartanburg, SC)". The Johnson Collection, LLC. Retrieved 23 February 2017.
  3. ^ Charles Fraser, Address Delivered on the Dedication of Magnolia Cemetery ... (Charleston, Walker & James 1850). See also Alfred L. Brophy, The Road to the Gettysburg Address, Florida State University Law Review 43 (2016): 831, 847-48, 852, 860 (discussing Fraser's dedication address).
  4. ^ Charles Fraser, An Address Delivered Before the Citizens of Charleston and the Grand Lodge of South Carolina at the Laying of the Corner Stone of a New College Edifice (Jan. 12, 1828); see also Brophy, at 888 (discussing Fraser's interpretation of the broad meaning of the Constitution).
  5. ^ American Antiquarian Society Members Directory


  • Public Domain This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainBryan, Michael (1886). "FRASER, Charles". In Graves, Robert Edmund (ed.). Bryan's Dictionary of Painters and Engravers (A–K). I (3rd ed.). London: George Bell & Sons.