Emma Bailey Fraser (1881-1957)

  • Emma Bailey Fraser (1881-1957)
  • Chickadees
  • Pastel on paper
  • 8 ½ x 6 ½ inches
  • Signed lower right
  • Provenance: Estate of the Artist; Herbert Fraser (The artist’s husband) to; Dr. W.S. Young, Newton Centre, MA, 1957

Emma Bailey Fraser was born in Newton, Massachusetts in 1881 to Emma A. Sweeney and Morgan J. Sweeney. Fraser’s father was an American illustrator considered to be America’s first political cartoonist. [1] Sweeney headed the art and engraving department for the Boston Globe and signed his work with the pseudonym “Boz”.[2] He illustrated “Yawcob Strauss and Other Poems,” by the American poet Charles Follen Adams (1842-1918) in 1910.[3]

While little information exists regarding Fraser’s education and artistic training she likely honed her skills under her father’s tutelage. According to archival sources, Fraser worked as a commercial designer and held a studio in Boston between 1908 and 1918. A census record from 1910 indicates that Fraser worked as a designer for a magazine. Fraser was not alone in her pursuit of a career in the arts. Her younger sister Mary G. Sweeney is also listed on the census as a magazine illustrator.

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Emma Bailey Fraser Chickadees
Emma Bailey Fraser Chickadees unframed