Bryn Mawr College Library Special Collections

Claud Lovat Fraser and Grace Crawford Lovat Fraser Collection: Art Works


Special Collections Department, Bryn Mawr College Library
Collection Number: M 25

Copyright © 2003 by Special Collections Department, Bryn Mawr College Library

May, 2003
Last Updated: February 12, 2004

Total Boxes: 52 boxes of original artwork, 13 separately bound sketchbooks and scrapbooks, 2 boxes of photographs documenting artwork, 1 box of negatives

Administrative Information

Acquired primarily by purchase from Seymour Adelman and Grace Lovat Fraser.

Ownership & Literary Rights
The Claud Lovat Fraser and Grace Crawford Lovat Fraser Collection is the physical property of Special Collections Department, Bryn Mawr College Library. Copyright belongs to Bryn Mawr College.

Cite as:
Claud Lovat Fraser and Grace Crawford Lovat Fraser Collection, Special Collections Department, Bryn Mawr College Library.

Restrictions on Access
This collection is open for research. For publication, consult the Head of Special Collections.

The collection consists of approximately 1,000 loose pencil or reed pen drawings, watercolors and gouaches, 29 bound volumes of original material, approximately 600 printed items, approximately 10 scrapbooks of printed items, 162 photographs documenting Fraser's art work, and related negatives. Most of the items date from Fraser's mature period, 1911-1921, but there are also several juvenile drawings and paintings and several posthumous publications. The collection is organized into eleven series, based on the subjects of the items contained within them. The first seven series consist only of loose original materials. Many of these were removed from sketchbooks, presumably by Fraser himself. Scrapbooks of original material and the majority of the sketchbooks occupy the eighth series and contain diverse subjects. The only exceptions are the sketchbooks that Fraser used during World War I, which are in Series III. Two series are composed of both printed material and original designs for printed material. The last series is composed of both printed and original materials executed not by Fraser but by family members, friends, and other artists.

Series I. Figural Work is organized into five subseries: Family Members; Caricature and Portraiture; Full-length Figures; Faces and Heads; Nudes; and Scenes with Figures. Family Members chiefly consists of members of Fraser's immediate family. Caricature and Portraiture contains caricatures and portraits of Fraser's contemporaries and historic persons. Faces and Heads and Full-length Figures contain studies of people and costumes, including six silhouettes of women in nineteenth century dress that may be by Fraser or his mother. Nudes contain both portraits and general studies of nudes. Scenes with Figures contains groups of figures in an environment which usually include a caption.

Series II. Landscape and Architecture consists of landscape or architectural drawings and paintings executed at various sites in England, Northern France and Italy.

Series III. World War I consists of work executed by Fraser while he was on active service from October 1914 to February 1916. This series is organized into three subseries: Figural Work, Landscape and Architecture, and Sketchbooks. Many of the drawings were executed on site, but some were executed later, from sketches, from memory or from souvenir photo postcards. Many of the loose drawings were removed from sketchbooks to serve as correspondence or as supplements to the correspondence that Fraser sent from the battlefield to various friends and family members. Most of this material was executed in army-issued pencil and in watercolor. Figural Work displays Fraser's interest in costume and his whimsical sense of humor, maintained even under the strain of trench warfare. Landscape and Architecture consists of maps and views of battlefields, of the Flanders countryside and of the cities of Armentieres, Boulogne, London, Poperinghe, and Ypres, among others. Fraser's sketchbooks took the place of his written diary during the years of World War I. The sketchbooks include figural work, landscape and architectural sketches, and Fraser's notes on subjects pertaining to the battlefield (trench-digging, marching undetected at night, battle songs).

Series IV. Animals contains sketches of birds, ducks, deer, sheep, fish, crustaceans, horses, a leopard, an otter, a cat, a bulldog and Whistler's "butterfly" monogram.

Series V. Toys contains designs for toys, some of which were executed in the round.

Series VI. Theater and Stage is organized into two subseries. Subseries A. Designs for specific plays and ballets includes designs for As You Like It, Bartholomew's Fair, Beau Brummel, The Beggar's Opera, The Captain, The Clandestine Marriage, The Corsican Brothers, The Crown of Crete, Divertissement, The Ghost on Gallow Rise, Henry VIII, The Liar, Mary Stuart, Mr. Pope Dreams, Nursery Rhymes, Pilgrim's Progress, La Serva Padrona, The School for Love, The Three Students, and La Vidova Scaltra. Subseries B. Designs for Unidentified plays and ballets contains designs for unidentified plays and ballets and designs for imaginary plays and ballets, which Fraser sometimes executed as a way to exercise his imagination without the constraints of budget associated with an actual production. Several designs in Subseries A were also exercises not intended for an actual production.

Series VII. Sketchbooks includes all of Fraser's sketchbooks except those produced on the battlefield during World War I, which are to be found in Series III. The sketchbooks contain figural work including caricature and portraits of contemporaries and historic figures as well as general figural studies and observations on costume, landscape notes, poetry, designs for printed items, correspondence, and drafts of correspondence, toy designs, animal studies, ideas for larger paintings, etc. Printed items and other drawings are often pasted into the books. The sketchbooks often served Fraser as visual journals on trips. Sketchbooks in this collection include those used on trips to Northern France in 1911 and 1912, a trip to Northern France and Italy with his father in the spring of 1914, and a trip to Paris with Grace in 1920. This series also contains five scrapbooks of original drawings, compiled by Fraser in 1908-1911.

Series VIII. Miscellaneous Drawings includes 17 drawings and paintings of subjects that do not correspond with the other Series. These include the following: a drawing of a birch tree, a sketch of theater-goers on the back of a program that lists Tamara Karsavina in The Firebird, a print of a man by an unidentified artist that was colored by Fraser, a design for a pendant, a watercolor of a group of monsters, a drawing of a racing car, a painting of a man in a forest with a lantern titled "Lost", several drawings of flags that the young Fraser sent to his mother while at school, a drawing of yellow leaves, an envelope with a floral device and menu in mock-French and a drawing of an Eastern sculpture that served as correspondence to an associate of Fraser's.

Series IX. Millard Printed Items includes only those printed items that are listed in Christopher Millard's 1923 catalogue raisonné The Printed Work of Claud Lovat Fraser (London: H. Danielson, 1923). Items are arranged as they appear in Millard and are often accompanied by working drawings and proofs. Millard consulted only his own collection and the collections of Grace Lovat Fraser, Florence and Claud Fraser and Holbrook Jackson when compiling this volume, so it is not exhaustive. Subseries follow Millard's chapter headings: Flying Fame, Poetry Bookshop, Book Covers and Illustrations, Bookplates and Book Labels, Prints, Posters, Periodicals, Christmas and Greeting Cards, and Miscellaneous. An additional subseries, Other, contains sheets of miscellaneous printer's proofs and scrapbooks of printed items and printer's proofs.

Series X. Other Printed Items includes printed items and original designs for printed items that are not found in Millard. These were printed after 1923 or were simply unknown to Millard. Subseries follow Millard's chapter headings: Flying Fame, Poetry Bookshop, book covers and illustrations, bookplates and book labels, prints, posters, illustrations in periodicals, Christmas and greeting cards, and Miscellaneous.

Series XI. Other Artists includes both printed and original materials by Fraser's family members and associates. Original materials are by Henri Gaudier Brzeska, John Sell Cotman, Edward Gordon Craig, Pouys Evans, Florence M. Fraser, Helen Lovat Fraser, Ralph Hodgson, Hugo Rumbold, Albert Rutherston, R. Stone, Norman Wilkinson and a person identified only as "Dolly's uncle." Printed materials by other artists include Poetry Bookshop Rhyme Sheets illustrated by James Guthrie, Philip Halgreen, John Nash, Paul Nash, and Charles Winzer. Other printed items include Edward Gordon Craig, F. L. Griggs, "T.H.," Haldane Macfall, E. MacKinstry, Paul Nash, Herbert Roth, Albert Rutherston, Gilbert Spencer, Joseph Simpson, Jack B. Yeats and items by unknown artists, including 94 19th century illustrated ballad sheets.

Series XII. Photographs and Negatives. Many of Fraser's art works and theatre projects were photographed. Of particular importance is the file that supposedly contains photos of the works in Fraser's first studio show. It is not known who identified this group, but it has been maintained as a separate file within the series.

Art Works: Box and Folder List 

Full List of Guides to the Collections
Abbreviations Used in Guides

Last Update February 12, 2004 , Special Collections at