The archive consists of material compiled by and related to the artistand designer Barnett Freedman (1901-1958).
The material is divided into three distinct sub-fonds: Material compiledby Freedman himself (FRE/1); material compiled after Freedman's death, byhis solicitor, friend and admirer, Charles Aukin (FRE/2);material added to the archive since its return to the Freedman family in 1978(FRE/3). It would most accurately be described as a collection of three, separate,archives. However, the singularity of the subject matter of the collection,Barnett Freedman, makes it useful to create a unitary catalogue.
Within both FRE/1 and FRE/2 the most substantial series are those comprisingcorrespondence (FRE/1/1 and FRE/2/1). Topics covered include: the development,printing, publishing and sale of Freedman's varied work as a painter, lithographicartist and book illustrator; commercial and industrial design projects; exhibitionsof Freedman's work both during his lifetime and posthumously; Freedman'sradio and television broadcasts and public lectures; the publication of articles;financial matters both during Freedman's lifetime and posthumously; familymatters.
Individuals and institutions represented in the correspondence files include: Edward Ardizzone, Edward Bawden, Kenneth Clarke, William Coldstream;Richard and Walter de la Mare, David Kindersley, Osbert Lancaster, George Macy, Francis Meynell, Henry Moore, William Rothenstein,Felix and Julian Salmon, Siegfried Sassoon and William Tennant. Institutions include: publishersand printers such as E. J. Arnold and Sons, Baynard Press, Chromoworks Ltd., Curwen Press, Faber and Faber, Limited Editions and the Heritage Club all of whom published Freedman'swork. Also: the Arts Council of Great Britain; BBC; Double Crown Club; General Post Office; Arthur Guinness and Sons; William Macdonald and Sons Ltd.; Royal College of Art; Shell-Mex and BP Ltd.
Other series include: material related to individual illustrative, designand graphic projects, including developmental sketches and prints; personalmaterial; press clippings; writing lectures and broadcasts; financial matters.
The dominant themes in the Aukin papers (FRE/2) are the attempts by Aukinto make financial arrangements for Freedman's window, Claudia, and son, Vincent,by organising the sale of works from Freedman's studio and through a numberof exhibitions of his work, also the organisation of a memorial exhibitionheld at the Arts Council of Great Britain Gallery, London and touring, 1958-1959.
The Freedman archive includes material that may prove useful for researchinto: developments in lithography in England in the period 1930-1960; bookillustration and design during the same period; the post war development ofcommercial and industrial graphic design in the UK. Also, the role of theOfficial War Artist. The archive is also informative upon the history of individualinstitutions and businesses, for example: Faber and Faber; the Limited EditionClub; William Macdonald and Sons Ltd; J. Lyons and Co Ltd.; the Curwen andthe Baynard Presses.