Frederick Carl Frieseke (American, 1874 – 1939)
Frederick Carl Frieseke (American, 1874 – 1939), The Saint Johns River, 1921, watercolor on paper, Purchased with funds from the Mae W. Schultz Charitable Lead Trust, The Francis and Miranda Childress Foundation, Inc. and the Kenneth G. Lancaster Restricted Fund, AP.2001.1.14.
Born in Michigan of German ancestry, Frederick Frieseke studied painting in Chicago and Paris. He spent most of his adult life in Europe, but as a child he lived in Jacksonville. Nearing the age of 50, with the help of his daughter, he produced a number of watercolors and paintings about his childhood along with a memoir account. He wrote:
“My Aunt Fannie’s parents lived in the orange grove next to ours. They had two fascinating grown sons. One, Alan, was a taxidermist. He kept tiny alligators in a tank and would stuff them. An alligator mounted on a bent tree trunk of papier maché and reflected in a poisonous looking green pool, was greatly in demand by the northern tourists, as were the Florida scenes by Ransom, always sunsets because the conch shells, on which they were painted, were a beautiful rose color. I admired them greatly and determined I should paint on conch shells when I grew up. Or maybe I would stuff alligators.”