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Donald Hamilton Fraser Biography

Donald Hamilton Fraser RA (1929-2009) is a widely known and accomplished painter dramatising his subjects with bold colours and a confident brush and his work employs a language of visual metaphor in which abstract and descriptive elements combine to express a heightened experience of landscape and still life. Of Scottish descent, Donald Hamilton Fraser was born in 1929 in London. He studied painting at St. Martin’s School of Art and in Paris with a French Government Scholarship. He was visiting tutor at the Royal College of Art for twenty-five years and an Honorary Fellow of the RCA. He was a Royal Academician and has exhibited there since 1975. Donald Hamilton Fraser studied at St Martin’s School of Art in London from 1949 to 1952 alongside Frank Auerbach, Joe Tilson, Sheila Fell, Jack Smith, Leon Kossoff and Sandra Blow. His first solo exhibition followed very shortly afterwards at Gimpel Fils, London, in 1953. In the same year Donald Hamilton Fraser was awarded a French Government Scholarship to live and work in Paris. His assessors included John Piper and Anthony Blunt. In 1954, Donald married Judith Wentworth-Shields, a fellow student from St Martin’s, at the British Embassy in Paris. Returning to England in 1955, Donald Hamilton Fraser wrote for Arts Review for eighteen months as a way of supplementing his artist’s income but was soon able to focus entirely on his painting. By this time Donald Hamilton Fraser was already showing regularly not only at Gimpel Fils, but also at the prestigious Paul Rosenberg gallery in New York. In 1958, Carel Weight took him on as a tutor in the painting school at the Royal College of Art where he remained for the next 25 years teaching alongside Peter Blake and Julian Trevelyan. While he was there he tutored David Hockney, Patrick Caulfield, Therese Oulton and Ron Kitaj. Donald Hamilton Fraser was made a Fellow of the Royal College of Art in 1970 and an Honorary Fellow in 1984, an Associate RA in 1975 and a Royal Academician in 1985. He was Honorary Curator at the Royal

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