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FREIMAN, Lillian

Guelph, Ontario, 1908
New York, United States, 1986
Biography synopsis
Freiman was born in Guelph, Ontario in 1908. Her family moved to Montreal, where she studied at the Art Association of Montreal and at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts de Montreal under Edmond Dyonnet, Emmanuel Fougerat and Robert Mahias. She attended the Art Students League in New York and then moved to Paris for thirteen years. The work of Degas and Toulouse-Lautrec had a serious influence on Freiman’s work. In 1932, she traveled to Canada and held solo shows at the Jacoby Gallery (Montreal) and at Wilson & Co., Ottawa. The next year she visited Canada and held a solo show at the Richard Gallery, Toronto. She went back to Paris and stayed until 1938, when the Second World War’s crisis forced her to leave France. She passed a brief time in Toronto and then settled in New York. She experimented with different techniques using pastel, crayon, watercolour on paper, as well as oil on canvas and on wood. She did studies of heads (mostly of women) and bird cages that were part of her collection. She won four prizes and a bursary at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts de Montreal and is represented in numerous collections, including the Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Kingston, Ontario; the Art Gallery of Cobourg, the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria; McMaster University, Hamilton; the Department of External Affairs, Ottawa; among others. At the age of 78 years she died in New York.
Media used
Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Montreal, 1923 - 1924 (under Edmond Dyonnet, Emmanuel Fougerat & Robert Mahias)
File & Archive locations
Art Gallery of Ontario - Edward P. Taylor Research Library and Archives
Artexte Information Centre, QC - Documentation Centre
Calgary Public Library, AB - Arts Department
Canadian Women Artists History Initiative Documentation Centre, QC
Hamilton Public Library, ON - Local History and Archives Department
Library and Archives Canada / Bibliothèque et Archives Canada, ON
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts / Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal, QC
Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal, QC - Media Centre
National Gallery of Canada, ON - Library and Archives
Vancouver Art Gallery, BC - Library
Winnipeg Art Gallery, MA - Clara Lander Library
London Public Library, ON
Ottawa Jewish Archives, ON
Canadian Jewish Congress Charities Committee National Archives, QC
University of Guelph, ON - Archival & Special Collections
Baltimore Museum of Art, MD - Archives and Manuscripts Collections
Center for Jewish History, NY
Frick Art Reference Library, NY

Writings about
"Artist Lillian Freiman dead at 82. Work hangs in National Gallery." Star (Toronto) 9 Sept. 1986
"Brillante fête artistique à l'école des beaux-arts." Le Canada (Montreal) 24 May 1924: 10
"Canadian Art to Be Shown At US Gallery." Standard (Montreal) 28 Oct. 1950
"Canadian-born painter was influenced by Degas." The Globe and Mail (Toronto) 10 Sept. 1986
"L'école des Beaux-Arts." Le Canada (Montreal) 25 May 1924
"Lillian Freiman." Montreal Star 26 Apr. 1932
"Notes on Events in Art World." Toronto Star 27 Mar. 1932
"Open Exhibition at Arts School." Gazette (Montreal) 24 May 1924
"School of Fine Art is Opened." Montreal Daily Star 24 May 1924
Axford, Phyllis. "Paris Louvre Hails Canadian Artist." Toronto Star Weekly 20 Jun. 1946
Buchanan, Donald W. The Growth of Canadian Painting. Toronto: Collins, 1950
Buchanan, Donald W. "Painter of Sensitive Vision." Canadian Art 7.3 (Spring 1950): 99-104
Cotret, J. René de. "Aux beaux-arts: la premiére exposition des travaux de vacances des élèves est très interessante." Le Canada (Montreal) 11 Nov. 1924
Frankfurter, Dr. Alfred M. "Drawings in Color by Lilian Freiman." Art News 26 Feb. 1938
Held, Julius S. Exhibition: Oils and Pastels by Lillian Freiman. 1946
London Public Library and Art Museum. Master Canadian Painters and Sculptors. London, Ontario: 1963
MacDonald, C.G. "Gallery Notes." Herald (Montreal) 19 Apr. 1952
MacDonald, Colin S. The Dictionary of Canadian Artists. (Volumes 1-8 by Colin S. MacDonald, and volume 9 by Anne Newlands and Judith Parker) Ottawa: National Gallery of Canada, 2009.
Martyn, Howe. "Sketches From Paris." Canadian Forum 14.165 (Jun. 1934): 353
McCarthy, Pearl. "4,000 Years of Jewish Art Show Highlight." Globe and Mail (Toronto) 23 Oct. 1950
McInnes, G. Campbell. Canadian Art. Toronto: MacMillan, 1950
McInnes, G. Campbell. “World of Art.” Saturday Night (18 Jan. 1936): 4
Morgan-Powell, S. "A Final Glance Around the Art Exhibition Here." Star (Montreal) 12 Apr. 1922
Nasby, Judith M. Lillian Freiman, Paintings & Drawings. Kingston: University of Gluelph/Agnes Etherington Art Centre, 1978
National Gallery of Canada. Canadian Water Colours Drawings & Prints. Ottawa: National Gallery of Canada, 1966
Pope, Leroy. "Success Came Easily to Canadian Artist." Montreal Star 6 Aug. 1959
Reference Division, McPherson Library, compilers. Creative Canada: A Biographical Dictionary of Twentieth-Century Creative and Performing Arts. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, University of Victoria, 1971
Walker, Kathleen. "The Almost Neglected Art of Lillian Freiman.” Ottawa Citizen 31 Aug. 1974

Writings by
Freiman, Lillian. "Letter to the Editor." Canadian Forum 14.166 (Jul. 1934): 411

Full text pdfs of exhibition reviews
Art Association of Montreal Annual Spring Exhibition: (Montreal, March 21, 1922) "Exhibits Drawn From Wide Area. Growing Importance of Spring Art Exhibition More Generally Recognized."  Gazette (Montreal)  March 21, 1922.  p.5.   Full-text pdf
Art Association of Montreal Annual Spring Exhibition: (Montreal, March 21, 1922) S. Morgan-Powell.  "A Final Glance Around the Art Exhibition Here. II."  Montreal Daily Star  April 12, 1922.  p.6.   Full-text pdf

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