The following text was written and submitted by Jean Ershler Schatz, artist and researcher in Laguna Woods, California:
Freya Hansell was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1940. Her mother painted "very personal" psychological fantasies, exposed her daughter to classical music and art by local painters. She was a fantasy-ridden, secretive child and underwent some emotional upheaval in her teens for which she was hospitalized. She then spent some time in New York, modeling for the Soyers and Jack Levine and developing a strong taste for art. She then went on to Antioch College, only to drop out. She worked in summer stock for a while, as an actress. Then to finish her studies she enrolled in Wayne State in Detroit where she was encouraged to paint.
Hansell got married, had two children and moved with her family to Chicago. She enrolled in graduate school at Northwestern University but was disappointed and spent much of her time learning graphics at a print shop.
She also got involved in installation art and in 1978 she moved to New York following a divorce. She secured a teaching position at the Parsons School of Design; and also taught at the School of Visual Arts.
Gerrit Henry in Art News, December 1986