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 Ernest Bradfield Freed  (1908 - 1974)

About: Ernest Bradfield Freed


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Lived/Active: Indiana/California      Known for: printmaking, abstract painting

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
A printmaker, painter, and teacher who worked in abstract styles, Ernest Freed was born in Rockville, Indiana, and studied at Indiana State University, the University of Illinois, and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts on a scholarship from 1933 to 1934.  He also had a Tiffany Foundation Fellowship.  Among his teachers were Grant Wood, Mauricio Kasansky, and Daniel Garber.

From 1937 to 1939, Freed was an art instructor at Northwest State University, and from 1939 to 1941, was art supervisor in the Flagstaff Arizona Public Schools.  From 1941 to 1949, he was at Fairmont State College (Fairmont, West Virginia) as a teacher, and from 1949 to 1954 chaired the art department at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois.  In 1954 until his retirement, he was head of Printmaking at Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles.

Sources include:
Peter Hastings Falk, Editor, Who Was Who in American Art

Biography from Annex Galleries:
Ernest Freed, painter, printmaker, administrator, and teacher, was born on a farm near Rockville, Indiana.  He showed an early propensity toward art, but received no formal training until he enrolled at Indiana State Teacher's College in 1926.  The following year, Freed transferred to the University of Illinois where he earned his B.S. in Education in 1931 and a B.F.A. in Art in 1933.

He was awarded a scholarship in 1933 to the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts where he studied until 1934.  Between 1935 and 1937, he pursued further studies at the University of Iowa and received his M.A. in fresco painting.  1936 was a pivotal year for Freed.  He won a Tiffany Fellowship and had his first solo exhibition, which included work created during his fellowship.

Freed's early career in education included positions at the University of Iowa and Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois.  He was Director of Art Education at Iowa where he met and studied printmaking with Mauricio Lasansky.  At Bradley, as Head of the School of Art, he revamped the curriculum to include printmaking and established a National Print Exhibition. In 1954, he began a twenty-year career as Professor of Art at Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles. As Head of Printmaking at Otis, he established another legacy, The National Print Invitational.

He kept a demanding schedule of group exhibitions.  His solo exhibitions were held at the Landau Gallery in Los Angeles, Cranbrook Museum, Winnipeg Museum, and Illinois, Iowa, Southern California, and North Carolina University. Repositories of his work include the Smithsonian Institution, Baltimore Museum, Philadelphia Museum, Metropolitan Museum, Brooklyn Museum, Cranbrook Museum, Library of Congress, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Victoria and Albert Museum, University of Southern California, and the Bibliothèque Nationale.

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