Tuesday, May 31, 2011

New York Etching Club: Frederick W. Freer

The painter and etcher Frederick Warren Freer was born in 1849 in Kennicott's Grove, Illinois, now part of Chicago. He studied art in Chicago before attending the Munich Academy under Wagner and Diez. Well-respected in his own day, Freer seems to be largely forgotten now, but I rank him among the most interesting of the New York Etching Club artists.

Frederick W. Freer, At Polling
Etching, 1888

My only print by Frederick W. Freer is an evocative and tranquil scene in Polling, Bavaria, where Freer joined Frank Duveneck and his students in the summer of 1879. It is executed largely in drypoint, with great subtlety of tone. So far as I can tell Freer's preferred subjects in his paintings were intimate interiors with a mother and child, using his own wife and children as models, but he also painted landscapes. Freer returned to the USA in 1880, living in New York until 1890 when he returned to Chicago to become President of the Chicago Academy of Design. He died in Chicago in 1908.


Jane Librizzi said...

I didn't know anything about Freer before reading this, but the New York Etchers belonged to a generation that started clubs everywhere they went. Shortly after the Moran clan began summering at Easthampton, an art colony sprang up there that included many of their friends. Ronald Pisano's "Long Island Landscape Painting" in two volumes, )1985 & 1990) includes many of these artists. Pisano was an independent scholar who would have loved the internet, but he died quite young.

Neil said...

Jane - I have both of Ronald Pisano's volumes, but haven't looked at them for probably 20 years - I will look them out. Thanks for the tip.

Jane Librizzi said...

Neil, I used to have Pisano's books, including "The Tile Club", but I gave them to the library. I still take them out from time to time.

Neil said...

Needless to say (to those who know my book storage problems) I haven't been able to find them - they must be boxed up.