Barnett Freedman (1901 - 1958)

Charades, 1937

SKU: 10612

Lithograph, trial proof, without darker colours

Signed in the plate

22 x 31 9/10 in. (56 x 81 cm)


Height – 56cm x Width – 81cm


The Artist’s Family

Literature: Artmonsky, Ruth, Art for Everyone: Contemporary Lithographs Ltd’, ACC Art Books, 2010, pp. 46-47; Mason, Emma, Barnett Freedman, Designs for Modern Britain, Pallant House Gallery, 2020, p. 103

This work was part of the first series of Contemporary Lithographs, published in 1937. The series was the brainchild of Robert Wellington ‚Äì the Director of the Zwemmer Gallery in Charing Cross ‚Äì and the artist John Piper, who was the technical expert. Their inspiration was to make good quality prints available to schools across Britain. 

Twenty-five artists produced images, which were then printed with Piper’s help at the Curwen and Baynard Presses. These artists included Paul Nash, Eric Ravilious, Edward Bawden, and Graham Sutherland, among others. The edition was limited to 400 copies per image.

Concerning Barnett Freedman’s Charade, Ruth Artmonsky writes that Freedman’s lithograph is reminiscent of the many Christmas cards he produced showing convivial social scenes. These were usually small vignettes which he has worked up into a full-blown party for his lithograph. His total command of the medium comes across in his subtle colour combinations with the play of the firelight’.

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Barnett Freedman
1901 - 1958

Illustrator, painter, printmaker and teacher, Freedman was born to Russian Jewish immigrants living in poverty in the East End of London. In 1916, he worked as draughtsman to a monumental mason, and at the same time took evening classes at St Martin’s School of Art. In 1922, he won a three-year scholarship to the Royal College of Art. In 1928, he joined the staff of the Royal College, and not long afterwards began to teach at the Ruskin School of Art, Oxford. He soon became a pioneer in the revival of colour lithography. He was an Official War Artist in World War II. By the time of his death Freedman had established an enviable reputation as an illustrator and designer of posters, stamps, books and book-jackets. He believed that there was no such thing as commercial art, ‘only good art and bad art’. His first exhibition was held in 1929 at the Literary Bookshop, Bloomsbury. A memorial exhibition was organised by the Arts Council in 1958. Manchester Polytechnic, which holds the Freedman archive, held a major show in 1990. Examples of his work are in the collection of the Tate Gallery.

With thanks to


SKU: 10982

Barnett Freedman (1901 - 1958)

Christmas Greetings Card 1956 signed in ink from: Claudia & Barnett Freedman, 1956


SKU: 10983

Barnett Freedman (1901 - 1958)

Christmas Greetings card 1953


SKU: 10882

Barnett Freedman (1901 - 1958)

Design for Christmas Card, 1954


SKU: 10613

Barnett Freedman (1901 - 1958)

Wuthering Heights, proof sheet, 1941


SKU: 10615

Barnett Freedman (1901 - 1958)

Proof Design Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, 1951


SKU: 10428

Barnett Freedman (1901 - 1958)

Nude, mid-1920s


SKU: 9483

Barnett Freedman (1901 - 1958)

The artist studio with life model and artist at work, late 1920’s


SKU: 9206

Barnett Freedman (1901 - 1958)

Study for A London Street Scene , late 1920’s


SKU: 8906

Barnett Freedman (1901 - 1958)

Street musicians, circa 1926


SKU: 8907

Barnett Freedman (1901 - 1958)

Seated model, deshabillée, mid 1920’s


SKU: 8898

Barnett Freedman (1901 - 1958)

Life study of two seated young women


SKU: 8901

Barnett Freedman (1901 - 1958)

Life study with hand on her hip, 3/4 view


SKU: 8902

Barnett Freedman (1901 - 1958)

Full lenght life study


SKU: 8893

Barnett Freedman (1901 - 1958)

Streamers and Heads, Drawing for Festival Poster, 1951


SKU: 8894

Barnett Freedman (1901 - 1958)

Figure study, woman in a woolen suit, circa 1925


SKU: 8897

Barnett Freedman (1901 - 1958)

Portrait of a woman seated on a chair, 3/4 pose, probably the artist’s wife, circa 1926


SKU: 8359

Barnett Freedman (1901 - 1958)

Unfolded proof for Christmas Card Messrs. Faber and Faber


SKU: 8355

Barnett Freedman (1901 - 1958)

Unfolded proof for Christmas Card The Leighton-Straker Bookbinding Company, 1955


SKU: 8353

Barnett Freedman (1901 - 1958)

Post Early in Christmas Week, 1939


SKU: 7952

Barnett Freedman (1901 - 1958)

15-inch Gun Turret, HMS Repulse, 1941