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John Frazer

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John Frazer Obituary


John Frazer, retired professor of art at Wesleyan University, died July 7th, 2014 at the age of 82. Originally from Texas, he graduated from the University of Texas with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree subsequently continued his studies at the Yale School of Art and Architecture where he earned a Master of Fine Arts. John began his career at Wesleyan University in 1959 where he was regarded as a gifted teacher, artist and scholar in painting, drawing and film until his retirement in 2001 after more than forty years of service. In his creative work, John was primarily a painter. His paintings found audiences at more than forty exhibitions throughout the country, with venues ranging from close-by (the Yale University Gallery, the Kaufman Gallery in New York) to far afield (the Houston Museum of Fine Arts, the Kawasaki Gallery in Osaka, Japan). He directed eight documentary films, including Balasaraswati, a study of the South Indian dancer Tanjore Balasaraswati. In addition to his creative work he was a respected scholar, publishing in the area of film studies and art with articles about, among others, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, documentary filmmaking, and the early years of cinema. He was instrumental in establishing Wesleyan's Program in Film Studies and was commissioned to direct a documentary for the college's sesquicentennial in the early 1970s. Aside from his professional life, John was an active member of the Middletown community serving on the Middletown Commission on the Arts and Committee for Design and Preservation. Susan, his wife of many years, a French teacher at Wesleyan University predeceased him in 1992. He is survived by his spouse, Will Hall, his daughter, Katherine Frazer Thayer and her husband, Scott Thayer. Memorial contributions in his name may be made to MARC Community Resources, 124 Washington Street, Middletown CT 06457. A memorial will be planned for early fall. Doolittle Funeral Home, 14 Old Church Street, Middletown is handling the arrangements.


Published in The Hartford Courant on July 16, 2014
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