Welcome to the website of the graphic artist and children’s book author Don Freeman
Don is known by many people as the author of CORDUROY and other children’s books. He is also known as a graphic artist who vividly portrayed the street life and theater world of New York City in the 1930’s and 40’s. On this website, I try to present these different aspects of my father who died in 1978, but whose work is still living. Don left behind dozens of sketchbooks and many ideas for books, both for adults and children. An exhibition with a selection of Don’s graphic work including his sketchbooks and NEWSSTANDS was shown in March 2009 at the Art Students League of New York. Don published several of his adult books (what would now be called “graphic novels”) privately during his lifetime. Some of these rare gems can be viewed on this website under General Books . Also there is a series of humorous illustrations by Don called “Models and Masters” where you can guess the artist that Don is caricaturing. Information for teachers, would-be-writers and young readers on his published and unpublished children’s books are under Children’s Books. Under Biographical Sketches there is biographical information on Don, New York, the Art Students League, and other artists that he knew.
Don’s wife, Lydia Cooley Freeman, co-authored some of Don’s children books such as Chuggy and the Blue Caboose and Pet of the Met. She was also a very talented artist who continued to paint and sketch until her death in 1999 in Switzerland at the ripe age of 92 years. Her paintings and books are presented on LydiaFreeman.com.
*Here is a link to posts I wrote in August 2009 wrote about my growing up with Don, my relationship to Don, and how our collaboration came about. Things change, life’s true rule, and a slightly updated version (September 2010) can be found as some things take a while, written after the publication of ONE MORE ACORN.
Here is a link to a podcast I gave to Susan Raab at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair in March 2009 about Don, CORDUROY, my relationship to my father, and the new projects involving Don’s unpublished stories.
In offering this material on the Internet, I am trying to do justice to Don’s broad, humorous, and life-loving creativity. If you have any questions or comments, do not hesitate to contact me, Roy Freeman. Browse around, I hope you like what you see.