Carel Weight British, 1908-1997
During Carel Weight's tenure as Professor of Painting at the Royal College of Art he received an unexpected letter from the Queen asking him to join a select party of guests staying overnight at Windsor Castle. Noting the invitation was dated 1 April, Weight assumed it to be an April Fool. Typically, he did nothing about it for a while but nevertheless worried quietly until he eventually discovered that the summons was absolutely genuine.
The incident reflects some of the ambiguity of Weight's position and his ambivalence about his own value. On the one hand Weight's career as a painter is an astonishing success story in which he carved an independent and highly individual reputation whilst finding a market for his work that remained undiminished from his first exhibition at the Cooling Gallery in 1933 to the present day. Alongside this, he held for 16 years one of the most prestigious teaching jobs in Britain, spanning a period when the RCA's reputation was at its zenith.