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Fred Wight was born on June 1, 1902, in New York City, the son of Carol Van Buren, and Alice Stallknecht Wight. In 1923 he graduated from the University of Virginia and went to France for two years, to study painting at the Academie Julien and elsewhere. From 1942-1945, he served as a lieutenant commander. He was separated from the armed forces in 1945, and returned to take his M.A. at Harvard University, under Paul Sachs and Jakob Rosenberg, concentrating in museology. He served as associate director of the Boston Institute of Contemporary Art from 1950-1953, before taking a position as professor of art and director of the UCLA Galleries in 1953. He was also chair of the Art Department from 1963-1966.
Fred Wight died on July 26, 1986, after the rather lightning invasion of a disease he'd fended off for some years. What those who knew him closely delight in was the fact that he never stopped working: he was painting fresh, beautiful, really marvellous canvases right to the very end.
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