Barnett-Freedman 2

Barnett Freedman (1901-1958)

The Barnett Freedman exhibition currently on at Pallant House Gallery, curated by Emma Mason,  has been described by the Telegraph as … ‘… remarkable – a blow-your-socks-off type of show’ (on 5th August).

A peer of Eric Ravilious and Edward Burra, Barnett Freedman was one of Britain’s most sought-after commercial designers in the mid-20th century.

People were at the heart of Freedman’s work. In mid-century Britain, his art could be seen by anyone in their everyday life: from book jackets to posters on the London Underground and beer advertisements in pubs. An outstanding and prolific commercial designer, Freedman worked with clients such as Ealing Studios, London Transport, Lyons’ Tea Houses and more.

Born in East London to Jewish immigrants from Russia, Freedman showed an early talent for drawing. He studied at the Royal College of Art from 1922-25 under Paul Nash alongside Eric Ravilious, Edward Bawden, Edward Burra and Enid Marx. Nash referred to this period at the college as “an outbreak of talent”.

Freedman’s first major commission was to design and illustrate Siegfried Sassoon’s ‘Memoirs of an Infantry Officer’ for book publishers Faber & Faber. He went on to illustrate dozens of book covers for classic novels by Charles Dickens, Charlotte Bronte and Leo Tolstoy. His designs for ‘War and Peace’ (1938) and ‘Anna Karenina’ (1951) are two of the finest examples of 20th century book design.

His work could be found in all manner of everyday places, from post offices to pubs. In 1935, Freedman designed ‘The King’s Stamp’, a postage stamp to commemorate the Silver Jubilee of HRH King George V . Later, during the 1950s Freedman advised Guinness on their advertising campaigns. In particular he organised the Guinness Lithographs series of prints for pubs (the subject of our 2016 exhibition, Prints for the Pub: The Guinness Lithographs).

At the outbreak of the Second World War, he was appointed as an Official War Artist. He travelled with the British Expeditionary Force in France along with Edward Ardizzone and Edward Bawden. In 1941 he worked on-board HMS Repulse, producing a popular print for the National Gallery. In June 1944 he travelled to France to record the aftermath of the D-Day Landings.

Freedman was awarded a CBE in 1947 and made Royal Designer for Industry in 1949. He had a lasting legacy in British book illustration, printmaking and graphic design. This exhibition is the first major reappraisal of his work since his 1958 Arts Council retrospective at the Tate Gallery.

Works FEATURED in this Exhibition

Private
Collection
Barnett Freedman
Theatre, Go By Underground, 1936
Sold
Barnett Freedman
Circus – Go By Underground, 1936
Sold
Barnett Freedman
Jane Eyre, 1955
Barnett Freedman
Anna Karenina, Large Uncoloured Proof, 1951
£200.00
Barnett Freedman
Epsom Spring Meeting
£975.00
Barnett Freedman
Ghost Stories
£300.00
Barnett Freedman
Anna Karenina, 1951
£350.00
Sold
Barnett Freedman
Charades, 1937
Barnett Freedman
Street Scene at Night
£875.00
Sold
Barnett Freedman
Trench, Design for Siegfried Sassoon’s Memoirs of an Infantry Officer, c. 1931
Barnett Freedman
The Sleeping Dead, Design for Siegfried Sassoon’s Memoirs of an Infantry Officer, c. 1931
£2,500.00
Sold
Barnett Freedman
Swaledale, the original painting for the You Can Be Sure of Shell poster, circa 1932
Barnett Freedman
Anna Karenina, Uncoloured Proof, 1951
£200.00
Barnett Freedman
Night, c. 1931
£2,950.00
Barnett Freedman
Two Vignettes, Design for Siegfried Sassoon’s Memoirs of an Infantry Officer c. 1931
£900.00
Sold
Barnett Freedman
Bomb Damaged Houses, Design for Siegfried Sassoon’s Memoirs of an Infantry Officer c. 1931
Sold
Barnett Freedman
Christmas card, 1954
Barnett Freedman
Nude, mid-1920s
£975.00
Sold
Barnett Freedman
Portrait of Sam Rabin, c. 1925
Sold
Barnett Freedman
Purim Party, circa 1934
Sold
Barnett Freedman
Trial proof for People, 1947
Sold
Barnett Freedman
The Window Box, 1954
Barnett Freedman
Four Men – Street Players, circa 1926
£1,250.00
Barnett Freedman
Sketch for Portrait of Young Man, mid-1920s
£9,750.00
Sold
Barnett Freedman
East end of London, night time street scene, late 1920’s
Sold
Barnett Freedman
The artist studio with life model, figure in doorway and artist at work, mid 1920’s
Sold
Barnett Freedman
God save our Queen, 1953
Barnett Freedman
Man sweeping outside terraced house, circa 1926
£3,800.00
Barnett Freedman
Study for Stanhope Street group, circa 1926
£950.00
Barnett Freedman
Portrait of Claudia Guercino, the Artist’s Future Wife
£2,850.00
Barnett Freedman
Study for the Stanhope Street group, circa 1926
£975.00
Barnett Freedman
Early study for the Stanhope Street Group, c.1926
£1,850.00
Barnett Freedman
Study for Street Scene, circa 1933
£1,900.00
Barnett Freedman
Study for Charade, circa 1936
£3,950.00
Forthcoming
Barnett Freedman
Streamers and Heads, Drawing for Festival Poster, 1951
Barnett Freedman
Couple in a restaurant, mid 1920’s
£2,500.00
Sold
Barnett Freedman
Design for ‘The King’s Stamp’, November 1935.
Barnett Freedman
The Stanhope Street Group, 1926
Barnett Freedman
15-inch Gun Turret, HMS Repulse, 1941
£1,875.00