Charles Grafly (1862 - 1929) was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on December 3rd 1862.  He studied at the Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts and in 1888 he went to Paris to study at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and the Academie Julian until 1892. He also studied with and apprenticed under Henri Chapu and Jean-Baptiste Dampt in their Paris studios and was greatly influenced by the works of Auguste Rodin.  His first exhibit was at the 1891 Paris Salon of a model titled Mauvais Presage, for which he received an honorable mention.  This sculpture was later acquired by the Detroit Museum of Fine Arts. Grafly returned to the United States and became an instructor at some of the most prestigious art schools including: The Philadelphia Academy of Fine Art, the Drexel Institute, and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts where he taught some of the most promising sculpture students in this country.  Charles Grafly continued to exhibit as well as teach and won medals and honors at: The Chicago Colombian Exposition of 1893 (Silver Medal), the Atlanta Exposition of 1895 (Silver Medal), the Pennsylvania Academy Exhibition of 1899 (Gold Medal), The Paris Universelle Exposition of 1900 (Gold Medal), the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo of 1901 (Gold Medal),  the Charleston Exhibition of 1902 (Gold Medal), and the Buenos Aires Exposition of 1910 (Grand Prize). He was made a member of the jury at the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair and in 1905 he was elected an associate of the National Academy of Design. His other associations included a Fellow of the National Sculpture Society, The Architectural League of New York, and the National Institute of Arts and Letters.  Some of his more prominent and later famous students were Paul Manship and Lawrence Tenney Stevens. His most famous monument is the equestrian stature of General George Meade in Washington DC.

The life of Charles Grafly is documented in the following books:

A Concise History of Bronzes by George Savage (1968)
American Sculpture by The Metropolitan Museum of Art (1965)
Dictionary of American Sculptors by Glenn Opitz
Masters of American Sculpture by Donald M. Reynolds
Bronzes of the American West by Patricia Broder (1973)
The Dictionary of Western Sculptors in Bronze by James Mackay (1977)

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