Laura Gardin Fraser

PegasusLaura Gardin (1889-1966), was the daughter of a wealthy and distinguished Chicago family. She grew up in New York, attended Columbia University, and studied at the Art Students League where she won both the Saint-Gaudens medal and the Saint-Gaudens Figure Prize. She married her sculpture instructor,  James Earle Fraser, and the couple built a large home and studio in Westport, Connecticut.

Laura’s career included many important medallic commissions as well as her better-known, heroic-scale figurative work. Her “Pegasus” (pictured) can be seen in Brookgreen Gardens. She modeled panels depicting the history of the United States for West Point Academy, and sculpted mascots of the Navy goat and Army mule.

James Earle and Laura Gardin Fraser, though inseparable, only collaborated on one sculpture project, the Oregon Trail Centennial Coin. “We talked and laughed all our lives,” Laura once said. “When we weren’t working we were talking, and we never grew tired of each other or ran out of subject matter.”


Many thanks to Lowell McFarland of Westport, Connecticut, for corrections and further information on Laura Fraser:


One response to “Laura Gardin Fraser

  1. A sentence in the piece about Laura Gardin Fraser says: “She married her sculpture instructor, James Earle Fraser, and the couple moved to Long Island and built a large studio in Westport.”
    As Westport is not in Long Island, but Connecticut, is this a mistake or putting two diferent moves together?
    I live in the town of Westport, CT., near where the Fraser’s lived and worked.

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