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Comedian Series (The Operation), 1964, Charcoal and ink wash, 19 1/2” x 22”




ARTIST BIO../beckelheimer/randy-b.html

BORN    1922 Oakland, CA      DIED      1998 Boston, MA


1922        Born in Oakland, California, the son of Anson Weeks, band leader (‘Dancin’ with Anson”)

                and Ruth Daly Weeks, classical pianist.  One elder brother, Jack, born in 1921.

1927        Anson Weeks’ band began a seven-year engagement at the Mark Hopkins Hotel in San 

                Francisco.  James Weeks enrolls at the Pacific Heights Grammar School.

1930-33    During the early 1930’s, James joins children’s art class at California School of Fine 


1934-36    Begins Marina Junior High School and meets William Wolff, who becomes a fellow artist 

                and lifelong friend.

1936-40    Enters college-preparatory Lowell High School where William Wolff and Richard 

                Diebenkorn are his fellow students.

1939        Sees two important exhibitions: Picasso at the San Francisco Museum of Art, and a 

                painting exhibition at the

1939        International Exposition, which includes Botticelli’s “Birth of Venus.”

1940        Graduates high school.  In the autumn, he takes painting classes in the evenings at the 

                California School of Fine Arts, San Francisco, while working at Wells Fargo Bank for 

                support.  At CSFA, he studies with traditionalist painter William Gaw.  Especially 

                interested in Cezanne, Marsden Hartley and Walt Kuhn.

1941        Switches to day classes.  Develops friendships with fellow art students Jan Hinchman 

                and Sturges Mower. Continues working with William Gaw.  Sees exhibition of French 

                painting from David to the present at M. H. de Young Museum, San Francisco, and is 

                especially impressed by Courbet.

1943–46    Enlists in the US Air Force.

1944-45    Stationed with the Air Forse in Ipswich, England.

1946        Returns to CSFA on FI Bill.  Simultaneously attends Marian Hartwell School of Design, 

                San Francisco. During this period, he studies with Edward Corbett, Paul Forster, David 

                Park, Hassel Smith, and Clay Spohn at CSFA, and with Marian Hartwell at her school.  

                Hartwell, Gaw and Park especially are influential. Friendships with painters at the school 

                include: Jeremy Anderson, Elmer Bischoff, Ernest Briggs, Lawrence Calcagno, Richard 

                Diebenkorn, Edward Dugmore, John Grillo, John Hultberg, William Ivey, Jack Jefferson, 

                Walter Kuhlman, Frank Lobdell and George Stillman.

1947        Continues studying throughout the year at CSFA. Meets Clyfford Still and admires his 

                paintings, but does not study with him.

1948        Begins teaching part-time at CSFA. On faculty with Bischoff, Corbett, Diebenkorn, Park, 

                Still and others.  Becomes teaching assistant to Marian Hartwell.

1949        Marries Lynn Williams a painter and student at CSFA. Takes a studio with William Wolff

                on Magnolia Street where they work until 1955.

1950        First significant museum exhibition in the spring: group show of work by faculty at 

                CSFA, held at the M. H. de Young Museum, San Francisco.

1951        Leaves CSFA in early 1951 in general exodus following resignation of Douglas MacAgy 

                as Director (effective fall 1950). First solo show: Lucien Labaudt Gallery, San Francisco. 

                In the summer, he travels to Mexico to study at Escuela de Pintura y Escultura, Mexico 

                City. Returns to the Bay Area in the fall and takes a job at the Railway Express Shipping 

                Company at night and paints during the day. First child, Rebecca, is born.

1952        Receives Abraham Rosenberg Traveling Fellowship, given through the San Francisco Art 

                Association to a Bay Area artist. In November, he begins working for Foster and Kleiser 

                Sign Painting.

1953-57    During the day, he paints advertising billboards for Foster and Kleiser. Paints at night. 

                Much work from this period is subsequently destroyed, including a series of paintings 

                based on heroic subjects. Studies science of optics; reads William Carlos Williams. 

                Begins friendships with painters Theophilus Brown and Paul Wonner.

1953        Solo exhibition at California Palace of the Legion of Honor, San Francisco where he 

                shows a series of studio paintings from the previous year.

1954        Shares the Magnolia Street studio with Elmer Bischoff. Engages in figure drawing 

                sessions with Bischoff, Diebenkorn and Park.

1955        Solo show at 6 Gallery, San Francisco. Second daughter, Ellen, is born.

1957        Included in Oakland Art Museum’s “Contemporary Bay Area Figurative Painting,” curated 

                by Paul Mills, which defined for the first time a “school” of figurative painting centering 

                around Weeks, Diebenkorn, Bischoff, Park, etc. Weeks later destroyed the paintings 

                shown there (exhibition travels to Los Angeles County Museum of Art). Leaves sign 

                painting for free-lance design work and brief stint as staff artist at KPIX-TV. Associates 

                during 1950’s with Lawrence Ferlinghetti, who provides sympathetic criticism of his art.

1958        Solo exhibition at East-West Gallery, San Francisco; shows Woman Singing 1957. 

                Returns to teaching part-time at CSFA, where he remains on faculty until 1967. Takes 

                studio on Broadway, with painter John Saccaro. Son, Benjamin, is born.

1959-60    Accepts position vacated by Richard Diebenkorn at the California College of Arts and 

                Crafts in Oakland, graduate painting. First show in New York City: solo exhibition at 

                Pointdexter Gallery: Two Musicians, 1960, exhibited. Subsequent painting shows in 

                1961, 1963, 1965, 1968, 1974. Teaches art classes at San Francisco Museum of Art.

1961        Receives Purchase Prize from Howard Universtiy Washinton, DC. Wins a Price Award at 

                Winter Invitational, California Palace of the Legion of Honor, San Francisco. Receives 

                the same honor the following year. Included in “Corcoran Biennial,” Corcoran Gallery of 

                Art, Washington, DC. CSFA changes name to San Francsico Art Institute.

1962        Life drawing sessions with Paul Wonner and Theophilus Brown. Solo exhibition at the 

                Carnegie Institute of Art in Pittsburgh, PA. “Four Artists,” at the Felix Landau

                Gallery, Los Angeles. “Five Decades of the Figure,” at the State University of Iowa

                at Iowa City. Group exhibition at the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT.

1964        First solo exhibition in Los Angeles at the Felix Landau Gallery; shows “Benjamin and 

                Ellen in a Garden,” 1962 (also 1967, 1970). Group exhibition at Carnegie Institute of 

                Art Pittsburgh.

1965        Solo exhibition at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Included in “Contemporary 

                American Paintings,” at the Kranner Art Museum, University of Illinois at Campaign. 

                Visiting artist at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque.

1966        Figure drawings sessions with Elmer Bischoff, Julius Hatofsky and Albin Light. Included 

                in “Recent Still Life, “ at the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, RI. Switches 

                from oil to acrylic paint for the majority of subsequent paintings.

1967        Moves with family to Los Angeles to take teaching position at the University of California 

                at Los Angeles, on faculty with Richard Diebenkorn. Teaches at UCLA until 1970. 

                Engages again in figure drawing sessions with Diebenkorn and Theophilus Brown. 

                Participates in “Painters Behind Painters,” at the California Palace of the Legion of 

                Honor, San Franicsco. Second Felix Landau Gallery solo exhibition, and the third in 

                1970.  Becomes friends with a group of artists including Sam Amato, William Brice, Les 

                Diller, Eliot Elgart and Charles Garabedian.

1969        Awarded research grant from UCLA to do “large-scale figure painting.” Begins teaching 

                during the summers through 1972 at the Skowhegan School, Skowhegan, Maine. 

                Included in “Collector’s Choice,” at the Newport Pavillion, Newport, California.

1970        Moves to Massachusetts to accept a teaching position as associate professor at Boston 

                University, which he holds for over eighteen years, concentrating primarily on graduate 

                painting courses. Participates in Boston University Art Program at Tanglewood, 

                summers 1970, 1972, 1973. Participates in “Expo ‘70,” Osaka, Japan.

1971        Solo exhibition at Boston University Art Gallery; shows Kitchen Still Life, 1967, reworked 

                in 1973.

1973        Invited to teach at Brandeis University in Waltham Massachusetts as the Salzman 

                Visiting Artist. Included in “Period of Exploration, 1945-1950,” at the Oakland Museum 

                of California Art, Oakland, CA.

1974        Solo exhibition at the Pointdexter Gallery.

1975        Included in “Painted in Boston: Institute of Contemporary Art,” in Boston, MA (travels to 

                Colby College Art Museum, Waterville , Maine). Included in “Recent Acquisitions,” at the 

                Oakland Museum of California Art, Oakland, CA. Included in “Boston 200: Bicentennial 

                Collection,” at the Institute of Contemporary Art, in Boston, MA. Included in “Four 

                Figurative Artists,” at the Fitchburg Art Museum, Fitchburg, MA.

1976        Solo exhibition at Sunne Savage Gallery, Boston. Included in “America 1976,” at the 

                Corcoran Galery of Art, Washington, DC. Included in “A Selection of American Art: 

                Skowhegan Shcool, 1947-1976,” at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, MA 

                (travels to Colby College Art Museum, Waterville, Maine). Receives commission for 

                painting from the US Department of the Interior in conjunction with its traveling 

                exhibition honoring the Bicentennial. Included in “Painting and Sculpture in California: 

                The Modern Era,” San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA (travels to 

                National Collection of Fine Arts, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC).

1977        Solo exhibition at the Charles Campbell Gallery, in San Francisco.

1978        Solo exhibition at the Rose Art Museum, Brandeis Universitty, Waltham, MA (travels to 

                the Oakland Museum of California Art, Oakland, CA).

1980        Solo exhibition at the Sunne Savage Gallery, Boston. Included in “Academy Institute 

                Purchase Exhibition,” American Academy and Institute of Arts & Letters, New York 

                (Purchase Prize).

1981        Solo exhibition at the Charles Campbell Gallery, San Francisco, CA. Visiting Artist, Yale 

                University, New Haven, CT.

1982        Included in “Contemporary Landscape,” at the Museum of South Texas, Corpus Christi, 

                TX. Included in “Perspective on Contemporary Realism,” Pennsylvania Academy of 

                Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA (travels to Chicago Art Institute, Chicago, IL).

1983        Included in “Directions in Bay Area Painting: A Survey of Three Decades-1940s-1960s,” 

                at the University of California, Davis, CA.

1984        Included in “American and European Painting and Sculpture,” at the LA Louvre Gallery, 

                Los Angeles (also 1986).

1985        Solo exhibition at Hirschl & Adler Modern, New York.

1986        Included in “Landscape, Seascape, Cityscape,” at the Contemporary Art Center, New 

                Orleans, LA.

1988        Solo exhibition at the Hirschl & Adler Modern, New York. Retires from teaching.

1989        Solo exhibition at the John Berggruen Gallery, San Francisco, CA.

1992        Solo exhibition at the Campbell-Thiebaud Gallery in San Francisco, CA.

1993        Solo exhibition at Hirschl & Adler Modern in New York, NY.

1994        Solo exhibition at the Campbell-Thiebaud Gallery in San Francisco, CA.  Catalogue


1998        Passes away in Boston, MA

1999        Solo exhibition at the Campbell-Thiebaud Gallery, San Francisco, CA.

2002        Solo exhibition at the Charles Campbell Gallery, San Francisco, CA.

2010        Group exhibition at ArtZone 461 Gallery, San Francisco, CA


American Federation of Arts, New York, NY; Capitol Records, Los Angeles, CA; Crysler Museum, Norfolk, VA; Commercial Union Assurance Company, Boston, MA; Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; Howard University, Washington, DC; Joseph H. Hirshhorn Collection, Washington, DC; Lytton Center of Visual Arts, Los Angeles, CA; Maine Savings Bank of Portland, Portland, ME; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA; Ringling Brothers Museum of Art, Sarasota, FL; San Francisco Museum of Art, San Francisco, CA; Seattle First National Bank, Seattle, WA; The Oakland Museum of California Art, Oakland, CA.

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