Interview of Don Freeman conducted 1965 June 4, by Betty Hoag McGlynn, for the Archives of American Art, in his home, in Santa Barbara, Calif. Freeman speaks of his childhood in San Diego with his guardian; his high school years spent in St. Louis at a public school Prineipia (and his teacher Kathryn Cherry); the knowledge of his artistic destiny as a child; his move to New York City in 1929; his time spent working as an unbooked trumpet player for jazz orchestras on Broadway; his formative years at the Art Students League under the guidance of John Sloan;
the influence of Robert Henri and "Art Spirit;" his decision to do illustrations for the theater section of the Herald Tribune of ongoing performances; his time spent studying with Harry Wickey (etcher and sculptor); his relationship and marriage to wife Lydia as well as description of life in downtown Manhattan immediately following the stock market crash ; time at Art Students League studying along side with Jackson Pollock, Manuel Tolegian, Whitney Darrel; his decision to work for the WPA in
the graphics department completing lithographs (1933-1934); "Freedom of the Press," a painting completed around the same time and the possible influence of Reginald Marsh; his interest in a project called "Paint for the People" (a public works project for the New York Subway system); time spent illustrating for the WPA theater magazine "The Living Magazine;" his opinions concerning acetate and stone as well as the use of mezzotint; his personal magazine which he published for four years (name unknown); a general summary of his feelings towards the WPA as an artistic force; his separation from the Union Uprisings due to his success within the program;
his work on "Our Flying Navy" a series of illustrations (now compiled as a book) used for advertisement for the Navy; his participation in the Association of American Artists before his term spent in the Army during WWII; his budding career as a children's books writer and illustrator (Barton Press); his illustrations for William Soroyan"s The Human Comedy; his move back west and his son Roy; and his current occupation of giving "Chalk Talks" around the country, speaking with students about art, music, theater.
Biographical / Historical:
Don Freeman (1908-1978) was an Illustrator from New York, N.Y. Went to New York City at the age of 21. Studied with John Sloan and Harry Wickey at the Art Students League.
An unrelated interview of Ben Messick conducted by B. Hoag McGlynn is also on this tape.
Conducted as part of the Archives of American Art's New Deal and the Arts project, which includes over 400 interviews of artists, administrators, historians, and others involved with the federal government's art programs and the activities of the Farm Security Administration in the 1930s and early 1940s.
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
0.6 Linear feet ((partially microfilmed on 2 reels))
New York (N.Y.) -- Periodicals
Scope and Contents:
An announcement and 18 issues, 1936-1955, of the bi-monthly periodical DON FREEMAN'S NEWSSTAND published by Freeman, featuring sketches of New York City street life (reels LA 9 and 76 and unmicrofilmed); 4 issues of AMERICANA, undated, (unmicrofilmed); and OUR FLYING NAVY, 1944, (reel LA 9) illustrated by Freeman.
Biographical / Historical:
Illustrator; New York, N.Y. Born 1908. Died 1978. Born in San Diego. Went to New York City at the age of 21. Studied with John Sloan and Harry Wickey at the Art Students League.
Don Freeman papers also at Syracuse University.
Material filmed on reel LA 9 was lent by Don Freeman in 1965; three items on frames 398-417 and 420-492 were subsequently donated on an unknown date. Material on reel 76 and unmicrofilmed portion donated 1966 by Vernon Porter, Director of the National Academy of Design.
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Microfilmed materials must be consulted on microfilm. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Illustrators -- New York (State) -- New York Search this