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 Jane Freeman  (1871 - 1963)

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Lived/Active: Massachusetts/New Jersey      Known for: portrait, genre, figure, landscape, still life painting

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An example of work by Jane Freeman
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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Jane Freeman, the portrait painter and artist, was born in England in 1871 and was brought to the US by her mother three years later.  She died on September 23, 1963, at the age of 93.

Ms. Freeman began her career early, first as a model herself for numerous well-known portrait painters, and later as an illustrator for magazines such as the Delineator.  This led her to tackle the art of portrait painting herself.  Her American tutors included William N. Chas, Charle Hawthorne, Frank Vincent Dumond, George E. Brown, and Frank Fairbanks.  In Paris, she studied with Olga de Boznanska, the noted Polish portrait painter; with Andre L’Hote, and at the Academie de la Grande Chaumiere.

Jane Freeman spent most of her life in New York City, living at Carnegie Hall, Beaux Arts Studios, and the Van Dyke Studios on 7th Avenue.  She spent her summers actively painting in the art colonies of Provincetown and Rockport, where she owned a cottage for almost 30 years.
Jane Freeman was primarily known for her portraits. Her subjects included such world-renowned people as Albert Schweitzer, Mother Cabrini, Thomas Corwin the governor of Ohio, and Louise Hunter of the Metropolitan Opera.  Although she worked primarily in oils, some of her best-liked pieces were done in charcoal and chalk.  One of her watercolors won the prize given by the National Association of Women Painters and Sculptors in 1928.

Until illness struck two years before her death, Ms. Freeman was an active member/officer of the Allied Artists of America, the National Society of Women Painters and Sculptors, the Art Alliance of America, the Hudson Valley Art Association (Westchester, NY), the North Shore Art Association in Gloucester, the Rockport Art Association of Massachusetts, the Audubon Society, and the Barnard Club of New York City.

Recognition, prizes and awards came to her from the Exposition of Women’s Art and Industries, the National Association of Women Painters, the Allied Artists, Audubon Artists, and the various art associations of Hudson Valley, Rockport, Gloucester, and Springville (Utah).

Ms. Freeman traveled and studied extensively, both in the US and abroad. Eyes for Two, a portrait of a blind matador and his wife, was painted in Spain and was accepted for exhibition at the Salon Lefebve in Paris in 1931.  This picture was shown extensively in Europe and the United States and received wide publicity. The Lace Maker of Bruges was selected by Queen Astrid of Belgium as her favorite when it was shown at the Beguinage Fete in Brussels in 1926.  This same picture was named Most Popular Picture in the Exposition of Women’s Art and Industries at the Hotel Astor in 1928 and received acclaim wherever it was shown.

Ms. Freeman also painted extensively in Morocco, Madrid and Barcelona in 1925.  In 1933 she exhibited at the Royal Victoria Institute in Trinidad, West Indies.

Many of her pictures received awards, including:
Day Dreams—most popular, Women’s Art and Industries, 1930. It was also featured on the cover of the Literary Digest, August 1931 and shown around the country.
Nancy a portrait of a young girl, won the top prize, the Julien F. Detmer Grand Award at the Hudson Valley show in 1949. It also won the Portrait Prize given by the Allied Artists, an award from Audubon Artists, and was much reported in the New York press.
Fruits of the Garden, 1952, First Prize, Hudson Valley show
Mrs. Robert W. Searle, portrait, 1954, Merit of Honor, Hudson Valley show
Marie in Grandma’s Gown, II ca. 1942, received top awards at the Hudson Valley Art Association Show, as well as in Gloucester and Rockport.

A  number of others have been reproduced in print or lithography format and widely distributed.

Jane Freeman had a number of one-woman shows, especially at the Charles Barzansky Gallery in New York City in 1954, as well as in Chicago and Albany, Kentucky, Ohio, upstate New York, and the annual Cape Ann Art Festival in Gloucester.  She also taught private classes in Carnegie Hall and at her 8th Avenue studio.  She was much in demand as a dynamic speaker and lecturer across the country, as well as at Barnard and Hunter Colleges in NYC.  In addition, Ms. Freeman also had a radio program broadcast from Asbury Park, NJ to New York.

Jeannette Wittman (niece and executrix of the artist's estate)

The artist's nieces

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in England, Jane Freeman was brought to the United States at age three. She began her art career as a model, became an illustrator and then studied painting with Charles Hawthorne, William Chase, Frank Vincent DuMond, and Robert Henri. She went to Europe to study portrait painting and then settled in New York City.

For many years, she was a prominent member of the Rockport Massachusetts Art Association where she spent her summers and taught classes to many who became well known artists. She did much to enhance the prestige of women artists in the United States.

Source: Paul Sternberg, Sr., "Things of Beauty"

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