Laura 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: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=42905366