Director of the Old Slave Mart Museum and scholar of African American art history. Judith Wragg Chase was born in 1907 in Augusta, Georgia, to Samuel Alston Wragg (1875-1953) and Emma Louise Sparks (Wragg) (1877-1966). She attended William Smith College (now Hobart and William Smith Colleges) from 1923-1924. From 1924-1927, she studied at Cooper Union Art School and later completed her degree at Syracuse University in 1960.
Chase’s career ambitions spanned several different fields. From 1928-1930, she worked as an advertising artist for Barron Collier, a prominent entrepreneur of the time. She also pursued her own freelance work as an illustrator. Outside of her work as an artist, she pursued multiple teaching positions. She was the art director at Fort Benning Children’s School from 1930-1931. She married her husband Richard Chase, who was a military service member, in 1931. A high school art teacher in Charlottesville, Virginia, from 1944-1947, and the art director at Manlius Military School in New York from 1957-1960. In her summers at Manlius Military School, she led student educational experiences in Europe.
- Chase, Judith Wragg. Afro-American Art and Craft. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold Co., 1971.