Mary Aldrich Fraser – Sculptor

Patchogue Advance, 17 November 1937, page 4
By Helen M. Ewing

Child by Mary Aldrich Fraser.
“This statue at the doorway of the Children’s Chapel, Washington National Cathedral, was presented by Mrs. Spencer Aldrich mother of the sculptor, in memory of her grandson.”
A View Book of the Washington National Cathedral, National Cathedral Association, 1940.
Photograph is modern.
  1. Malcolm Fraser (Mary Aldrich Fraser), sculptor, of Brookhaven, has modeled many statues, but perhaps the most enthusiasm is that of the Christ Child which is now a memorial in the Children’s chapel of the Protestant Episcopal National Cathedral in Washington.  Photographs of this appealing figure of Christ as a small boy, with chubby face face and arms out-stretched, have been printed in in several religious publications and have attracted so much much favorable attention that Mrs. Fraser has received many letters regarding it.  Inquiries and admiring comments have come to her from as far off as London, India, Austria and New Zealand.

The latest honor to be bestowed upon the little figure is that the National Cathedral association at Mt. St. Alban, Washington, D.C., has chosen a photograph of it to be reproduced on one of the 12 Christmas cards the association publishes each year and sends to subscribers.  The proceeds from the sale of these cards are used to help the cathedral in the nation’s capital maintain its services.

Friends of Mrs. Fraser in Brookhaven and vicinity will remember that this figure which she worked in clay (which was later cast in bronze) was shown by her in the Fraser studio on Beaver Dam road a year or so ago.

In response to questions as to how she came to model the figure Mrs. Fraser wrote an article in “Cathedral Age” and later reprinted in “Church News of the Diocese of West Virginia.”  In this she said that the suggestion was first made to herby a priest, but she was doubtful of her ability to handle such a project.  Than an artist said that in his opinion no man had ever modelled a really satisfying Christ Child and that a woman with Mrs. Fraser’s religious environment and tendencies, could do it.  She began the work with great trepidation but, once started, found that the “tools” guided her hand, rather than her hand guided the tools.”  Mrs. Fraser is very fond of chidren and undoubtedly the subject was one very near her heart.  To use her own words, “I had a strange feeling of elation as I worked.  Little by little the clay took shape almost as though by some power outside myself.  It was as  though I were opening a door and letting a great love into my life and the world.”  Certainly the affection which the little figure awakens in those who look upon it seems to proved the last statement.

Mr. and Mrs. Fraser are now in their home in Orlando, Fla., for the winter.