Frederic Kirtland Wykes was born in 1905 in Grand Rapids, Michigan; his father was lawyer Roger Irving Wykes, Michigan Attorney General during WWI, married to Ora Kirtland Wykes. FKW graduated from the University of Michigan in 1926 where he studied art and painting under Jean Paul Suesser. He was a member of the Saugatuck Summer Colony, then went on to the Art Institute of Chicago. His favorite teacher was the American impressionist, Alfred Juergens. Finally, in Florida he studied at the Stetson University Art Academy under Harry Fluhart.
In 1927 he married Frances Mallory of West Springfield, Pennsylvania and Mount Dora, Florida. They homesteaded an island in the Thornapple River in Cascade, Michigan, in
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