{ "" }
Share JAMES's life story with friends and family
Send an Email
Or Copy this URL to Share
RAYEN, James Wilson Of Weston, Mass., formerly of Westwood, Mass., died peacefully at home Tuesday morning, February 26, 2013. He was 77 years old. Rayen was born April 9, 1935 in Youngstown, Ohio. He was a graduate of Phillips Academy Andover, and received BA, BFA, and MFA degrees from Yale University. After receiving his MFA in 1961, he taught at Wellesley College, where he remained until his retirement in 2003. Rayen was the Elizabeth Christy Kopf Professor of Art, remembered as a devoted teacher and an extraordinary painter. He was strongly influenced by Philip and Maud Morgan at Phillips Academy, and by Josef Albers and Rico Lebrun at Yale. Rayen was a well-known landscape painter who continued to paint and exhibit during retirement. In the 1970s, Professor Rayen was instrumental in helping turn the College's studio art courses into a full major. He was preceded in death by his spouse of 48 years, Bruce Donaldson. They were married in 2007. Funeral services will be private. A memorial service will be held at Wellesley College in April. Contributions in memory of Professor Rayen may be made to Phillips Academy, Andover, Mass., or Wellesley College, Wellesley, Mass.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Boston Globe from Mar. 2 to Mar. 3, 2013.
Memories & Condolences
Not sure what to say?
8 entries
October 6, 2013
Prof. Rayen was the reason for my taking up arts. His inspiration, encouragement, and love of art, he handed down to me. I quote him often and a little bit of me has died with his passing.
Mercedes Eguizabal
June 1, 2013
I took several studio classes with Prof. Rayen, including a senior year independent drawing class. He was always kind, thoughtful and calm. He shared his inspirations with students-- Albers, Virgil Thompson-- as well as his wise commentary.
Barbara Kane Russell
May 2, 2013
James was a dear friend. I so regret that I lost touch with him during the past couple of years. He was my painting teacher, a colleague when I taught one year at Wellesley, and a dear friend my whole adult life.
I bought a painting in 2010 or 2011 when my sister and I visited his Framingham studio and had planned to buy another. He bought a couple of mine early in my career. One is of burnt toast. I think he had a small colored pencil drawing of a sea shell too.
Debora Gilbert Ryan
April 4, 2013
I always remember Prof Rayen as a kind and thoughtful teacher who was able to tease out talent in his students, and who never, despite his own formidable talent and style as a painter, allowed ego to color his instruction. He will certainly be missed and remembered fondly.
Pat Shea
April 4, 2013
Professor Rayen was inspirational--a remarkable talent and a kind person. I was at Wellesley when his efforts resulted in the establishment of a Studio Art major. He urged me to consider it. I ended up in a career that's far afield, but I will never forget Professor Rayen's confidence in me and his support during those years so long ago.
Linda Costello
March 6, 2013
To Jim's Family: As the Phillips Academy Class '53 Agent, Jim and I were in regular contact. Jim will be missed as a person and a very respected teacher and artist. I remember Jim, too, as a neighbor growing up in Westchester County, NY Most sincerely, Tom Shoop (Cincinnati, OH)
March 3, 2013
Dear dear friend and highly principled individual, it is an honour and privilege to have shared a good portion of our lives with you.  We will always remember you and miss you deeply.  But we will be reminded daily by your works of art that grace our house. Thank-you James, we will miss but remember you and all your many kindnesses.  Bob & Dan
Bob & Dan Malmberg Berger
March 3, 2013
Poor James. I wish I had known him many years ago. Wonderful person, incredible artist. I was looking forward to another lunch at John Stone's Inn.
Invite others to add memories
Share to let others add their own memories and condolences