More Than a Constructive Hobby: The Paintings of Frank Freed

ISBN 10: 0890900736 / ISBN 13: 9780890900734
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Synopsis: Frank Freed (1906 75) painted vignettes of daily life, ideas, and emotions in relative obscurity for nearly thirty years in a style typically categorized as "naive" or "folk" art. More Than a Constructive Hobby surveys the Houston businessman/artist’s work and shows how it was informed by sophisticated observations and an intense love of literature.

Freed was born in San Antonio in 1906, the only child of German-origin Jews, but spent most of his life in Houston. After World War II, he took advantage of the GI Bill to enroll in a basic painting class.

Although he created art for his own pleasure in Houston, far removed from the nation’s northeastern cultural center, Freed’s best work fused two honorable traditions, combining the cultural commentary of such artists as Honoré Daumier and Ben Shahn with the style of "naive" or "folk" art set by the Douanier Rousseau, Horace Pippin, and John Kane.

With the overwhelming art energy centered in New York, Houston artists like Freed received little attention.

Compiled to accompany a 1996 exhibition of his work by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, More Than a Constructive Hobby redresses that neglect. Freed’s gentle humanism imbues his compositions; he recorded the social mores of his times, using his friends and local environment to mirror the larger issues of his day. On the rare occasions that he addressed greater historical events, such as the horrors of Auschwitz or the strife of the civil rights movement, he did so in human terms, looking to the individual to express the whole.

About the Author: WILLIAM A. CAMFIELD is a professor of art history at Rice University in Houston and was guest curator of the exhibition of Frank Freed’s paintings organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

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Book Description Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, U.S.A., 1997. Paperback. Book Condition: New. New with minor shelfwear. Book for an exhibition of Frank Freeds works held at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston June 30-September8, 1996. Illustrated in color and with detailed commentary and biography. Size: 9 X11 1/2. Bookseller Inventory # 4504-50

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Book Description The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Houston TX, 1997. Wrappers. Book Condition: Fine Condition. 107 pp., many illustrations 44 in full color. Softcover catalogue in crisp, clean and bright, virtually new condition. Published on the occasion of the exhibition from June 30-September 8, 1996. Bookseller Inventory # 004101

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Book Description Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Houston, Texas, U.S.A., 1996. Hard Cover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. Hardcover book with Dustjacket. Presents the life and works of Frank Freed. Works are illustrated in color, black and white personal photographs. Bookseller Inventory # 5310-1

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