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 Louis (Harry Louis) Freund  (1905 - 1999)

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Lived/Active: Arkansas/Missouri      Known for: portrait-figure, genre, and history mural painting, educator

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Harry Louis Freund is primarily known as Louis (Harry Louis) Freund

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Louis (Harry Louis) Freund
An example of work by Harry Louis Freund
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Louis Freund, whose full name was Louis Henry Freund, was born in Clinton, Missouri on September 16, 1905.  He attended Clinton High School and the University of Missouri.  He also studied art at the St. Louis School of Fine Arts, Washington University, Princeton University and Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center.

He was awarded the Edmund H. Wuerpel Scholarship for Foreign Study that enabled him to travel to several countries and study in Paris at the Colarossi Academy.  He also spent an extended period of time in Mexico and Central America to complement his studies.

During his career Freund served as a mural designer for the State of Missouri exhibit at the Chicago World's Fair of 1933; he was appointed Artist in Residence under the Carnegie Corporation at Hendrix College, Conway, Arkansas, and spent World War II as the Visual Aids Director for the 8th Service Command.

Later Harry Freund was an illustrator for the Ford Motor Company as well as working as a faculty member for several schools.  He founded the Art Department at the Little Rock Junior College (now the University of Arkansas at Little Rock) and served as the head of the Art Department at Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas. He founded the summer Art School of the Ozarks at Eureka Springs, and was an Artist in Residence at Stetson University, where he subsequently served as the head of the Art Department.

An unveiling ceremony for a restored 1939 oil painting of Freund's from Randolph County was held on Monday, October 20, 2003 at the Arkansas State University Museum in Jonesboro, Arkansas.  Following is the description given of that painting as obtained from a press release from Arkansas State University at Jonesboro, Arkansas from the web link

The painting, Early Days and First Post Office in Pocahontas, was painted by Harry Louis Freund, an Arkansas artist who lived from 1905 to 1999. The painting was originally installed in 1939 at the Pocahontas Post Office.  The oil on canvas was part of the U. S. Postal Service's New Deal Arts Collection.

The art collection in Arkansas post offices was documented in the book Post Masters: Arkansas Post Office Art in the New Deal by John Purifoy Gill of Little Rock.  Gill researched and wrote the book, which Arkansas State University published last year, because of the paintings' significance in Arkansas's heritage.

Early Days was commissioned for the Pocahontas Post Office by the former U. S. Department of the Treasury Section of Painting and Sculpture, later known as the Section of Fine Arts, or simply the Section.  The Treasury Department was responsible for the construction and furnishing of all Federal buildings during this period.

As a part of the decoration of postal facilities during the Franklin Delano Roosevelt administration, artists were commissioned by the Section to create murals and sculptures for postal facilities across the country from 1934 to 1944.  Unlike the Works Progress Administration program, with which it is often confused, the Section was not directed towards providing relief for artists.  Instead, it sought to provide murals and sculpture for newly constructed federal buildings from project funding appropriations.

Artists were selected to create artwork under this program by means of national and regional competition.  For this reason, many of the artists selected were among the most talented artists of their era with the intent of decorating new Federal buildings with the best in American art.

By the time the New Deal Arts Programs ended in 1944 due to World War II, 1,200 murals and 300 sculptures had been commissioned by the Treasury Department for placement in postal facilities.  Today, it is believed that 1,000 murals and 200 sculptures remain in the Postal collection.

These murals and sculptures form a vital part of America's national heritage as they comprise the only comprehensive public collection portraying the culture and character of the American people within a given era.

The Pocahontas mural depicts several scenes of everyday life that were "close to the hearts of Pocahontas citizens."  In the lower right corner is old Davidsonville of 1817, where the first post office in Arkansas was located.  The lower left corner depicts the old dam and mill at Birdell on the Eleven Point River, as it was around 1835.

The central part of the painting portrays Pocahontas around 1900, when it was a flourishing river town.  Included are the old county courthouse, in the center of the square; the Biggers Hotel, at the time the largest inn between St. Louis and Little Rock; and the old Hamil residence, the first large home in town.

The above material was submitted January 2004 by a researcher at the Ashworth Collection of Western and Native American Art; Fort Smith, Arkansas.  References include Who Was Who in American Art by Peter Falk.

Delta Phi Delta; National Society of Mural Painters.

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
An oil painter, illustrator, and educator, Louis Fruend studied at the University of Missouri, 1923-25, St. Louis School of Fine Arts, Washington University, 1925-29, and then on a travel scholarship in 1929, in Paris at the Academie Colarossi.   In 1940, he received a Carnegie fellowship, and attended Princeton University from 1940-41. He also took classes at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center 1946-47; in 1953 was in Mexico on a Carnegie-Stetson grant; and in 1959, was in Central America on a Stetson University grant.

He was a free-lance illustrator for Crowell Publishing & Ford Motor Company and also did mural design, with commissions including the 1933 State of Missouri entry at the Chicago World's Fair.  From 1934 to 1940, he was a mural artist for the Fine-Arts section of the U.S. Treasury Department.  He also served as visual aids director in the United States Army from 1945-46.

As an art educator, Harry Freund was a resident artist at Hendrix College, 1939-41, and served as head of the art department there from 1941 to 1946.  He was founder of the art department at Little Rock Jr. College in 1940, and was founder/ director of the Art School of the Ozarks for seven years.  He also served as lecturer and faculty artist visiting for the Association of American Colleges, and for five seasons was head of the art department at Stetson University, 1949-59.  He continued as resident artist from 1959 to 1969.

Memberships included the Arkansas Watercolor Society; Southern States Art League; Ozark Art Association; Florida Artist Group (president); National Society Mural Painters; and Florida Craftsmen, which he served as president.

St. Louis, 1927 (medal); St. Louis Artists Guild, 1929 (prize); Society of Independent Artists, 1931; Arkansas Watercolor Society, 1938 (prize); Ozark Art Association, 1939 (prize), 1940-45; Denver Art Museum, 1939; Cleveland Museum of Art, 1939, 1940; Kansas City Art Institute, 1938-42; Southern States Art League, 1942-45; Arkansas Artists, 1940-46; IBM, 1940; Pepsi-Cola, 1945; The Contemporary Group, American Art Exhibition at the New York World's Fair; National Academy of Design; Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts; Carnegie Institute; Corcoran Gallery of Art of Art.

His works are in the collections of the Springfield (Missouri ) Museum Art; Little Rock Museum of Fine Arts;

Murals by Freund are in US Post Offices in Herington, Kansas; Windsor, Missouri; Idabel, Oklahoma;  Pocahontas & Heber Springs, both in Arkansas; Camp Robinson, Clinton, Missouri;  Camp Chaffee, Arkansas; IBM Corporation; Library of Congress; Seattle Art Museum; St. Louis School of Fine Arts; library murals, Bishop College & Shaw University

Sources include:
Peter Falk, Who Was Who in American Art
Who's Who in American Art (1973)
Who's Who in American Art (1947)

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born Clinton, MO, Sept. 16, 1905; died Little Rock, AR, Dec. 22, 1999. Painter. Illustrator. Teacher. Studied at University of Missouri, St. Louis School of Fine Art, Princeton University, Colarossi Academy in Paris, and the Colorado Springs Fine Art Center. Pupil of John Sites Ankeney, Carpenter, Goetsch, Wuerpel, Robert Henri, and Berthe Moriset in Paris. Painted the 1937 Herington Post Office mural, “The Arrival of the First Train in Herington, 1885.” Taught at Hendrix College, Conway, AR 1939-46 and at Stetson University in Deland, FL from 1949-51. Worked as an illustrator for Ford Motor Co. publications, 1948. Founded the art department at the Little Rock Junior College, now the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.
Susan Craig, "Biographical Dictionary of Kansas Artists (active before 1945)"
Wiebe, Joanna K. “Kansans Cared About their New Deal Art”, in Wichita Eagle Beacon, May 21, 1972. p.1E & 7E-----. “Local Legends Live in Art”, in Wichita Eagle Beacon, May 22, 1972. p.1A & 3A-----. “Age Enhances Fort Scott Mural”, in Wichita Eagle Beacon, May 23, 1972. p.1A & 8A-----. “Halstead Legend Perpetuated”, in Wichita Eagle Beacon, May 24, 1972. p.1A & 16A -----. “Scenics, Murals and Lithographs Included in Kansas New Deal Art”, in Wichita Eagle Beacon, May 25, 1972. p.15A.; Kanhistique. Ellsworth, KS, v.1 #1 May 1975-. 1975-1982 examined.. Ellsworth, KS, v.1 #1 May 1975-. 1975-1982 examined. (Aug. 1975); Who’s Who in American Art. New York: American Federation of Arts, 1936- v.1=1936-37 v.3= 1941-42 v.2=1938-39 v.4=1940-47., 1, 6, 7; American Art Annual. New York: American Federation of Arts, 1898-1947 26; AskArt,, accessed Sept. 2, 2005; Bruner, Ronald Irwin. New Deal Art Workers in Colorado, Kansas and Nebraska. Thesis. University of Denver, 1979.; Family Search. Version 2.5.0. Salt Lake City: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 2002. accessed July 15, 2006; Carver, Rita S. H. Louis Freund: An Artist for Arkansas. (MA Thesis, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, 1993)
This and over 1,750 other biographies can be found in Biographical Dictionary of Kansas Artists (active before 1945) compiled by Susan V. Craig, Art & Architecture Librarian at University of Kansas.

Biography from Greg Thompson Fine Art:
Freund was born in Clinton, Missouri.  In 1929 he received a fellowship that allowed him to study in Paris. When he returned to the United States, the Great Depression was beginning, and Freund found work with the fine arts section of the Works Progress Administration.  Through the WPA project, he painted murals in public buildings in Pocahontas, Heber Springs, Rogers and Eureka Springs, as well as in six other states.

Throughout the years, he worked as an illustrator, teacher, and painter.  He founded the art department at the college now known as the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and served as the head of the art department at Hendrix University in Conway, Arkansas.

His work can be seen in many museum collections including: the Historic Arkansas Museum, Little Rock and the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri.

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