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Hammond Gower

Charles Frace

Artist Biography

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Charles Frace

Charles FracÚ 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. FracÚ 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, FracÚ began a professional career as a freelance illustrator in New York City. Eventually, he became one of the nation's most sought-after illustrators of wildlife. However FracÚ soon grew frustrated by the restrictions of illustrating ideas conceived by others and longed to paint art, prints and posters of his own. He finished only one, which his wife, Elke, took to a nearby art gallery. They insisted on displaying the painting in the gallery, and it sold that same afternoon.

In 1973, with the issue of FracÚ's first limited edition print, he had finally made the permanent change to fine art. FracÚ brings to his art, prints and posters over three decades of personal research and a close kinship with animals. FracÚ and his art has been the subject of two books. Perhaps the greatest honor of his career came in October 1992, when FracÚ 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.

Charles Frace Art, Prints and Posters Collection