Barnett Freedman   British 1901–1958

Barnett Freedman is a British painter, lithographer, illustrator and designer, born in 1901 to a poor Jewish couple. His early years were in Stepney. His talent for drawing was eventually rewarded After five years at  evening study at St Martin’s School of Art, London, he won a scholarship to the Royal College of Art (1922–5), where he later became a teacher himself. As a painter, Freedman was neither reactionary nor avant-garde using a more traditional subject-matter. He is remembered chiefly as a pioneer of colour autolithography for machine production at the Curwen and Baynard presses, which he achieved by transferring drawings on stone to offset plates. Barnett Freedman autolithographed some 40 book jackets and numerous posters and played a leading role in the production of large-scale colour prints for Contemporary Lithographs (1937), Lyons (1947, 1951, 1955) and Guinness (1956). As an official war artist, first with the British Expeditionary Force in France, then with the Admiralty until 1946, Barnett Freedman won the CBE for his work. This included large-scale paintings, portraits of entire ships’ crews and the notable lithograph 15-inch Gun Turret in HMS Repulse. After the war, he became a TV and radio personality.

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