Charles Fraser was a popular and respected artist who numbered Thomas Sully, Edward Malbone, and Washington Allston among his friends. The leading miniaturist in Charleston prior to the Civil War, Fraser studied and practiced law until 1817 when he took up painting. Although he lived in Charleston, SC, he made many summer visits to the northern states. He produced over 500 miniatures in his lifetime, but he also painted still lifes and historic scenes. He worked in both oils and watercolors. His panoramic view of Richmond, VA was engraved and published in Analectic Magazine.
He exhibited frequently at the Boston Athenaeum. He exhibited at the National Academy of Design (1826), the American Academy of the Fine Arts (1831, 1833, and 1834), the American Art Union (1849), the Artists Fund Society, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (1837), and the American Art Union (1849). He often exhibited in Charleston, SC, where he lived.
Fraser was made an honorary member of the American Academy of Fine Arts in 1825.
His works can be found in Charleston at the Gibbes Art Gallery, the Carolina Art Association, and the Charleston City Hall.
Fraser’s White Mountain paintings appear to be dated 1857 when we assume he visited the area.