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 Charles Frace  (1926 - 2005)

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Lived/Active: Tennessee      Known for: wildlife in landscape painting, illustration

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Charles Frace, a wildlife artist whose work was featured in more than 450 exhibitions, was born in 1926 in a small town in eastern Pennsylvania.  He began drawing at five and taught himself to paint when he was fifteen.  Frace remembers wanting to be an artist from an early age.  His self-instructed talent earned him a scholarship to Philadelphia's Museum School of Art, where he graduated with honors.

In 1955, Frace began a professional career as a freelance illustrator in New York City. Eventually, he established a distinguished reputation for wildlife painting. However Frace soon grew frustrated by the restrictions of illustrating ideas conceived by others and longed to paint some of his own.

He moved to Mattituck, Long Island and opened a studio and met his wife Elke.  She took his first finished work to the nearby Kron's Gallery for framing.  Although it was an unusual subject and title, A Sparrow on a Rat, they insisted on displaying the painting in the gallery, and it sold that same afternoon.

His paintings were immediately celebrated by fellow nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts. His first Golden Eagle, framed by ominous gray clouds and staring at the viewer from its perch on a sun bleached tree limb, was such a success that he made a second version as one of his limited edition prints.

In 1973, with the issue of Frace's first limited edition print, he had finally made the permanent change to fine art.  Frace brings to his art over three decades of personal research and a close kinship with animals.  Frace and his art has been the subject of two books.

Perhaps the greatest honor of his career came in October 1992, when Frace as recognized with a one-man exhibit of thirty-six of his paintings at the National Museum of Natural History of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.

On December 16, 2005, Charles Frace died, having suffered from Alzheimer's Disease.  Of his work, he had said:  "I was just given this gift.  I believe God gave me this talent to share with others and, in this way, to contribute to the preservation of wildlife and their habitat." (Wildlife Art 2006)


Sources include:
Texas Art Depot, http://www.texasartdepot.com/t-frace_morebio.aspx
Editors, "In Memorium", Wildlife Art, March/April 2006, p. 80


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