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Barnett Freedman (1901 - 1958)

Bomb Damaged Houses, Design for Siegfried Sassoon’s Memoirs of an Infantry Officer c. 1931

SKU: 10602

Watercolour, pen and ink

Signed with initials 

3 1/3 x 5 3/10 in. (8.5 x 13.5 cm)

Size:
Height – 8.5cm
Width – 13.5cm

DESCRIPTION

Provenance:
The Artist’s Family
Presentation:
framed

Exhibited: Barnett Freedman 1901-1957, Retrospective exhibition at the Arts Council, 1958.

Literature: Mason, Emma, Barnett Freedman, Designs for Modern Britain, Pallant House Gallery, 2020, p. 48

This original pen and ink drawing  was reproduced in Siegfried Sassoon’s Memoirs of an Infantry Officer, Chapter Ending (no. 50). The work was published by Faber and Faber in 1931. This was one of fifteen illustrations that Freedman created for the Memoir, and the combination of image and text meant that it was heralded a modern classic. 

In a review for the Daily Telegraph, the military historian B. H. Liddell Hart wrote that ‘Those who in future really want to understand the atmosphere of the years of 1916 and 1917, and the conditions of life, will turn back to this book.’ 

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THE ARTIST

Barnett Freedman
Barnett
Freedman
1901 - 1958

Illustrator, painter, printmaker and teacher, Freedman was born to Russian Jewish immigrants living in poverty in the East End of London. In 1916, he worked as draughtsman to a monumental mason, and at the same time took evening classes at St Martin’s School of Art. In 1922, he won a three-year scholarship to the Royal College of Art. In 1928, he joined the staff of the Royal College, and not long afterwards began to teach at the Ruskin School of Art, Oxford. He soon became a pioneer in the revival of colour lithography. He was an Official War Artist in World War II. By the time of his death Freedman had established an enviable reputation as an illustrator and designer of posters, stamps, books and book-jackets. He believed that there was no such thing as commercial art, ‘only good art and bad art’. His first exhibition was held in 1929 at the Literary Bookshop, Bloomsbury. A memorial exhibition was organised by the Arts Council in 1958. Manchester Polytechnic, which holds the Freedman archive, held a major show in 1990. Examples of his work are in the collection of the Tate Gallery.

With thanks to artbiogs.co.uk

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