Art: Gold-Medal Sculptor

Gold-Medal Sculptor James Earle Fraser was eight when it first occurred to him that it would be fun to carve things out of stone. The year was 1884 and the place was Mitchell, S. Dak. Young Fraser watched the town hunchback shaping a block of soft chalkstone into an admired popular novelty: four pillars surrounding a movable ball. The boy got some chalkstone for himself and began to carve childish versions of the things that interested him most: horses, buffaloes and Indians.

Long one of the most admired sculptors in the U.S., this week James...