William Miller Frazer RSA 1864-1961
Elected ARSA: 17 March 1909
Elected RSA: 13 February 1924
William Miller Frazer died in Edinburgh on 7th May 1961 in his 97th year.
“W.M.’’, or “ Bill” Frazer as he was affectionately known among his friends and acquaintances, was a son of the late Bailie John Frazer of Perth. Born in Scone on 30th September 1864, he was educated first at Sharp’s Institute and afterwards at Perth Academy, and came to Edinburgh in 1883 to study at the Board of Manufactures School before being admitted three years later to the Royal Scottish Academy Life School.
In 1890, he travelled extensively on the Continent, studying in Paris and making sketching tours in Norway, Holland, Italy and Algeria. It was later that he found his real inspiration in the Norfolk Broads and the Fenn Country and other parts of England and Scotland. His work had a lyrical quality which admirably suited the tranquil landscape of his choice.
He had a feeling for atmospheric effect and an unaffected interest in the pleasurable sensation of a simple visual impression; his work had an affinity with the later period of Corot’s work. While he was unable to venture into the countryside to make his vivid sketches in his later years, he did in fact continue to paint in his studio until he was over 80.
Frazer was an extremely popular painter and was represented in the R.S.A Annual Exhibitions throughout his life; the titles of his pictures as recorded in the Catalogues are a clear indication of their affinity to one another. In 1909, he was elected an Associate and in 1924 ,he was an original Member of the Society a full Academician. of Scottish Artists of which he was elected President in 1908. He acted as Treasurer of the Academy from 1932 to 1937.
RSA Obituary, transcribed from the 1961 RSA Annual Report