Frazer – William Miller Frazer RSA (1864-1961)

William Miller Frazer is a Scone raised artist who holds the record for exhibiting the most years at the annual Royal Scottish Academy exhibitions. William was born in Scone (30 September 1864) and died Edinburgh (7 May 1961).

Early years

  • William was born in 1864 and grew up in Scone
  • William attended Perth Academy where he first met his lifelong friend and patron (Sir) Thomas R Dewar, the whisky magnate
  • William left Perth to attend the Trustees Academy in Edinburgh, following a distinguished group of earlier Perthshire artists

Artistic career

  • William moved to Edinburgh in 1897/8 and spent the remainder of his long life in Edinburgh
  • William first exhibited at the Royal Scottish Academy in 1884 when he was living at Bridgend, Perth
  • William travelled to Algeria, Holland, Italy and Norway in 1890
  • William exhibited at an incredible 78 consecutive exhibitions held at the RSA between 1884 and 1961
  • William was commemorated by a display of 3 of his works posthumously at the Royal Scottish Academy exhibition in 1962
  • William was elected an Associate of the Royal Scottish Academy (ARSA) in 1909
  • William was elected a full Academician (RSA) in 1924
  • William was a founder member of the Society of Scottish Artists in 1891 and served as its President in 1908

What did he paint?

  • William painted landscapes mainly
  • William executed some works in watercolour but his favoured medium was oil paint
  • William was particularly drawn to paint in the English Fens, the Norfolk Broads, Argyllshire and his native Perthshire
  • William’s style is quite recognizable and is evocative of the work of the French painter Corot

Later life

  • William married in 1891 and went on to have three sons
  • William was a popular figure in artistic circles
  • William died in 1961 (the same year as J D Fergusson) aged 97 making him Perthshire’s oldest artist to date

Work by William at Perth Museum and Art Gallery

(It is not possible to have the entire collection on show at any one time. To view any of these works please contact the Art Section to make an appointment)

Title Type Date
A Perthshire Moorland Oil on canvas about 1925-7
Perth from the South Colour mezzotint print on paper 1925
Perth from the South Oil on canvas 1925
Perth The Fair City: Scotland’s Holiday Centre. Colour lithographic print (after an oil painting by W M Frazer) about 1925
Reeds and Ducks Oil on canvas 1915
Rush-cutting in the Fens Oil on canvas 1913
Annaty Burn, Scone Oil on canvas 1909
Backwater Kinfauns Oil on canvas 1895
Landscape with cattle Oil on canvas 1892
A West Coast Fishing Village Oil on canvas 1892
Falkland Palace Watercolour on paper about 1880-90
A Moorland in Athole Oil on canvas not dated
Wareham Mill, Dorset Oil on canvas not dated
Collecting the Day’s Catch Oil on canvas not dated
The Norfolk Broads Oil on canvas not dated

Learn more about William Miller Frazer

In 1978 Perth Museum and Art Gallery mounted an exhibition of loan work to celebrate the life and work of William Miller Frazer and produced a small catalogue to accompany the show. This catalogue is no longer in print.

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