Barbara Constance Freeman (1906-1999):
Study of a seated lady with pink hat, circa 1925
Mounted (ref: 4746)
Pencil and watercolour, 21 x 14 in. (54 x 35.5 cm.)
Barbara Constance Freeman was born on 29 November 1906 in Ealing, near
London. She attended the Tiffin Girls' School in Kingston upon Thames
in Surrey and later studied at the Kingston School of Art.
She illustrated many books, including The Treasure Hunters by Enid Blyton, and many collections of fairy tales, both traditional tales by Grimm and Andersen and modern stories. Some of her earliest illustrations are found in The Cuckoo Book (1942), a book of fairy tales by Edith Mary Bell. She also contributed to comics, including Playhour, and to annuals, such as, Blackie's Children's Annual 1934.
By the 1960s she had begun writing and illustrating her own books for children and young adults. Some have a touch of fantasy: in Two-thumb Thomas the eponymous hero is raised by school cats; in Broom-Adelaide, a fox rides a flying broomstick. Some, including Lucinda and The Name on the Glass, are set in the past, while in others, such as A Book by Georgina and The Other Face, the lives of the main characters are interwoven with history.
Her artwork is both clean-cut and winsome: an unmistakable style. Some of her illustrations are still in print as posters and art prints.
We are grateful to David Buckman for assistance.