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Dorothy Fratt-Cooper

1923 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Dorothy Fratt-Cooper Obituary
Fratt-Cooper, Dorothy
Dorothy Fratt - Cooper, acclaimed valley artist died on July 7, 2017 at the age of 93. She was born on August 10th, 1923 in Washington D.C. She was the daughter of Washington Post photographer- journalist Hugh Miller and Martha Holt Miller. Dorothy attended Mount Vernon College for Women, the Corcoran Gallery School of Art and the Phillips Memorial Gallery Art School where she studied painting with Karl Knaths and Nikolai Cikovsky. Fratt held her first solo exhibition in 1946 at the age of 23 at the Washington City Library and has since then shown her work in other solo shows including the Phoenix Art Museum (1964), the Tucson Art Center (1964), Yares Gallery Scottsdale (1965, 1966, 1982, 1984, 1987, 2008) and a major retrospective exhibition, "Dorothy Fratt: 1970-1980," Scottsdale Center for the Arts (1980) and the Thomas Babeor Gallery in La Jolla California (1985). Her work was also shown in many group exhibitions, including the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. (1948, 1964); the Roswell Museum of Art, Roswell New Mexico (1961); California Palace of the Legion of Honor, San Francisco California (1965); "Gottlieb's Contemporaries" Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix Arizona (1979); "4 Women" Carson-Sapiro Gallery, Denver Colorado (1981); and the Wade Gallery, Los Angeles California (1989). From 1946-1951, she taught at Mount Vernon College; in 1958 Fratt moved to Phoenix Arizona and began teaching privately. Fratt has received many awards, the first coming in a student show at the Corcoran when she was fifteen. Collections with examples of her work include the Phoenix Art Museum, the Tucson Museum of Art, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, the Museum of Northern Arizona, ASU Art Museum, as well as many private and corporate collections. In 2000 she received the Arizona Governor's Artist of the Year Award for her work. Fratt's most well known paintings were a complex of relationships of color and shape, conveyed by the simplest means, yet a process which often took an extraordinary amount of time for an end result that looks so deceivingly simple. Fratt's paintings, "the end product of years of study, incredible knowledge and mind-boggling intuition, always communicate emotion and ideas on many levels and are as wondrous to the untutored, sensitive layperson as to the most sophisticated artist or aesthetician." Fratt was "important as an abstract painter of the western landscape, its architecture, its atmosphere, and its space." In a catalogue for one of her shows and published by the City of Scottsdale Fine Arts Commission, Rudolph Baranik commented: "These lines Leo Stienberg wrote are appropriate here in reference to Dorothy: "You can, as an artist, try to say something big about life; or be content to make the stuff in your hands come to life. And this humbler task is the greater, for all else merely follows." Dorothy Fratt married Curtis C.Cooper "Bud" in 1972 and moved to Scottsdale, Arizona. Dorothy spent her winters in Scottsdale and her summers at the Cooper Family Ranch in Williams, Arizona. For those of you have been to the "ranch", you know what a magical place it was. Bud and Dorothy loved having family and friends visit and held many horseshoe and pinochle tournaments there. Known for her willingness to always offer up an opinion on any subject or a wonderful meal at one of her gatherings, Dorothy will be sadly missed but her impact will be felt for years to come. Dorothy was preceded in death by her husband Curtis "Bud" Cooper and a son, Hugh M. Fratt. She leaves behind a wonderful and important legacy not only to the art world but to her family: Nicholas Fratt III, Gregory Fratt, Peter R. Fratt and his wife Margaret Ann and their three children, Cooper Fratt (Billie), Martha Fratt Burr (Dustin) and Jenny Fratt (Ben Tucker), as well as three step-children: Carolyn Collins, Cal Cooper and Pat Cooper and their children. A memorial for Dorothy will be held at a future date. Please visit to leave Dorothy's family an online condolence.
Published in The Arizona Republic on Aug. 6, 2017
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