Oral history interview with Don Freeman

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.freema65
Creators:
Freeman, Don, 1908-1978
McGlynn, Betty Hoag
New Deal and the Arts Oral History Project
Dates:
1965 June 4
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
1 Sound tape reel
Sound recording
5 in.
19 Pages
Transcript
Repository:

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
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;
Scope and Contents
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
Scope and Contents
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;
Scope and Contents
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
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.

Administration
Immediate Source of Acquisition
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.

General
General
An unrelated interview of Ben Messick conducted by B. Hoag McGlynn is also on this tape.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Illustrators -- California -- Interviews Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Federal aid to the arts Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Artists' materials Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Illustration of books Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Prints -- Technique Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sound recordings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Interviews Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sloan, John, 1871-1951 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Henri, Robert, 1865-1929 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Wickey, Harry Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Pollock, Jackson, 1912-1956 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Tolegian, Manuel J. (Manuel Jerair), 1911-1983 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Marsh, Reginald, 1898-1954 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
United States. Works Progress Administration Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art Students League (New York, N.Y.) -- Students Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
New Deal and the Arts Oral History Project Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives of American Art
750 9th Street, NW
Victor Building, Suite 2200
Washington, D.C. 20001
https://www.aaa.si.edu/services/questions
https://www.aaa.si.edu/