Guide to the Jane Freeman letters and other materials
RG 9.10.8

Summary Information

Repository
Sarah Lawrence College Archives
Creator - Creator
Freeman, Jane (Illustrator)
Title
Jane Freeman letters and other materials
ID
RG 9.10.8
Date [bulk]
Bulk, 1967-1971
Date [inclusive]
1966-1997
Extent
0.5 linear feet 1 document box
Language

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Sarah Lawrence College Archives July 2014

Sarah Lawrence College Archives
1 Mead Way
Bronxville, NY, 10708
914-395-2480
archives@sarahlawrence.edu

Revision Description

 Finding Aid entered in Archivists’ Toolkit by Stephanie Olaru July 2014

RESTRICTED

Partially restricted or restricted folders are labeled as such and are usually restricted for 75 years from the date of creation or death of the individual(s) mentioned. The Archives reserves the right to deny photocopying. See Archivist for futher information.

Acquisition note

This collection was donated in accession 2012-001 by Jane Margaret Freeman, Sarah Lawrence College alumna, class of '71.

Appraisal note

Original letters #25, #30, #32-34, #36-38, #40-42, #45, #47-49, #51-53, #57, #59, #63, #66, #70-71, #74-76, #79-83, #87-89, #91-100, #135, #137, #141, #161, #192, #206, #242, #262, and #272 were lost before their transfer to the Sarah Lawrence College Archives. Though the originals are lost they are included in the transcription copy. In the transcription they are marked with the comment “no original” in red.

Existence and Location of Copies note

The original letters are supplemented by Word Document transcriptions prepared by Jane Freeman and PDF color reproductions of the originals. The transcriptions have been proofread and names have been redacted by the Sarah Lawrence College Archives staff to protect the privacy of former students. Digital reproductions of the Jane Freeman letters are open to the public and available electronically.

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Biographical note

Jane Margaret Freeman was from Miami, Florida, the eldest of Dr. Joseph and Ann Freeman’s four daughters. She was a student at Sarah Lawrence College from 1967 to 1971. While a student at SLC, Freeman studied printmaking, drawing, painting, literature, poetry, history, and Hebrew with various SLC faculty, including Ansei Uchima, Bernard Pfriem, James Zito, Francis Randall, Ilja Wachs, Jane Cooper, Charles Trinkaus, Baruch Levine, and Daniel Kaiser, who was also her don.

The don/donnee relationship between Freeman and Kaiser became the impetus for Freeman’s brief stint as a social activist on the college campus. In the spring of 1970, Freeman spearheaded the campus-wide protest in support of Kaiser who was denied tenure by then-president Charles DeCarlo. Later that spring, when SLC officially joined hundreds of educational institutions across the country in the National Students Strike against the Vietnam War, Freeman played an active role in the SLC chapter of the Strike. She participated in marches, volunteered in the campus Strike Center, attended workshops, and worked on the SLC poster committee designing silkscreen protest posters. One of her signs advertised free draft counseling for high school males and was posted in high schools throughout New York City and Westchester. Her stint in political activism was short-lived, however, and at the end of the spring semester Freeman returned home to Miami before departing for Brandies Camp Institute (BCI) in Brandeis, California for the summer.

After graduating from SLC in 1971, Freeman continued her studies in art. She spent the summer after graduation studying painting under Bernard Pfriem with the SLC study abroad program in Lacoste, France. During that summer, she became acquainted with the French journalist Jean Daniel and the French-born British artist Peter de Francia who were living in Lacoste at the time.

After SLC, Freeman continued to pursue an education in art and went on to receive an MFA in painting from the University of Pennsylvania in 1974. She is now an artist based in New York City producing paintings and crafting miniatures. Her work has been reviewed in magazines and has appeared in exhibitions across the country and abroad.

In 2002 she published her first book, a treatise on practical techniques and approaches in the art of creating the miniature, titled The Art of the Miniature: Small Worlds and How to Make Them. In addition to her published works, which include cover art and illustrations for children’s book, she wrote a monthly column for Dollhouse Miniatures, called “The Jane Files,” from 2003-2005.

Though Freeman continues to produce art work regularly, she has also realized a life-long dream of becoming a teacher and currently teaches English in New York University's Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP).

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Scope and Contents note

The Jane Freeman letters and other materials are a collection of the original letters written by Freeman to her family at home in Miami, Florida and other materials relating to her college years. The letters provide daily accounts of her social and academic life while a student at Sarah Lawrence College. The letters date from 1966 to 1997, but the bulk of the materials date from 1967 to 1971.

In addition to the correspondence, other materials included in this collection are copies of Freeman’s course evaluations from faculty, documentation of campus exhibitions showcasing her art work, the schedule for the 1971 commencement week, newspaper and magazine clippings, the statement of purpose for the boycott supporting professor Daniel Kaiser’s tenure, and photocopies of photographs taken of Freeman and her family.

The Jane Freeman letters describe her social life in New York City and on campus, her academic and artistic pursuits on campus and off, her religious awakenings while a student at SLC, and her role in social activism on campus.

Freeman’s penchant for art and music frequently drew her to the City. In letter #26 Freeman recounts an evening she spent with operatic soprano Beverly Sills and in letter #203 Freeman tells how she met and toured the factory of famous shoemakers, Herbert and Beth Levine.

Letters #26, #32, #33 #36, #39, #79, #94, #96-97, #143-PS, #144, #147-149, #154, #156, and #244 pertain to her excursions and various activities in New York City. In them she describes, among other things, the many visits Freeman paid her great aunt, famous composer Mana-Zucca, and the music concerts they attended together in New York City and music and dance concerts in the City she went to on her own, often inviting her classmates to come along. She was able to attend these concerts for free as she was frequently given concert tickets by family friend and Newsweek magazine music and dance critic, Hubert Saal.

Letters #111, #116, #119, #125, #129, #130, #164, and #172 pertain to her social life on campus. For example, Freeman listened to classical music on the radio. Her favorite program was "Listening with Watson," the WNCN classical music radio program hosted by William E. Watson. Sometimes friends would join her and listen to Watson in her dorm room while they studied.

Letters #69, #101, #103, and #148 provide details of Freeman’s academic and artistic progression, how she managed to keep on top of the demanding work load for her classes, and her relationships with faculty.

Letters #189-192 ½ provide an account of Freeman’s experience at Brandeis Camp Institute (BCI) for young Jewish adults. While at BCI she met Elie Wiesel with whom she kept a correspondence after leaving BCI (see letters #204 and #217). She later went on to become an organizer and promoter of Jewish consciousness on campus and arranged for Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz to speak at SLC on Jewish mysticism and the Kabbala (see letters #266-272).

Of particular note are letters documenting social activism on campus. Letters #116-119 offer Freeman’s first-hand account of the Westlands Sit-in against tuition raises, and letters #182-186, and #188 detail campus activities, and Freeman’s involvement, in the SLC chapter of the National Student Strike of May 1970.

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Series Description

The Jane Freeman letters and other materials is arranged in a single series. The letters and other materials are organized chronologically. The letters have been numbered by the College Archives staff to assist with organization.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Brandeis Camp Institute (Brandeis, Simi Valley, Calif.).
  • Herbert Levine, Inc.
  • Sarah Lawrence College.
  • WNCN (Radio station : New York, N.Y.).

Genre(s)

  • Clippings (information artifacts)
  • Correspondence

Personal Name(s)

  • Cooper, Jane, 1924-2007
  • Daniel, Jean, (Jean Daniel Bensaid), 1920-
  • De Francia, Peter
  • DeCarlo, Charles R.
  • Levine, Beth, (b. Elizabeth Bessie Katz), 1914-2006
  • Mana-Zucca
  • Pfriem, Bernard, 1916-
  • Randall, Francis Ballard, b. 1931
  • Saal, Hubert
  • Steinsaltz, Adin
  • Trinkaus, Charles Edward, 1911-1999
  • Wiesel, Elie, 1928-

Subject(s)

  • College students - United States - Social life and customs
  • Sarah Lawrence College
  • Vietnam War, 1961-1975--Protest movements--United States

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Cataloging status

Uploaded to OCLC in July 2014 OCLC#884510019

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Collection Inventory

Box

Letters home, #1-140 September 1967 - June 1969 

RESTRICTED

See Archivist for futher information.

1

Letters home, #141-190 September 1969-May 1979 

RESTRICTED

See Archivist for futher information.

1

Letters home, #191-271 August 1970-May 1971 

RESTRICTED

See Archivist for futher information.

1

Letters home from Lacoste, France, #273-291 July-August 1971 

RESTRICTED

See Archivist for futher information.

1

Photographs 1966-1971 

1

Lacoste 1971-1978   Includes black and white postcards of Lacoste, newspaper and magazine clippings, pamphlets on the summer session in southern France offered by Sarah Lawrence College, and color scans of Jane's watercolor journal.

Scope and Contents note

Includes black and white postcards of Lacoste, newspaper and magazine clippings, pamphlets on the summer session in southern France offered by Sarah Lawrence College, and color scans of Jane's watercolor journal.

1

SLC Faculty 1967-1997 

Scope and Contents note

Contians SLC faculty materials, including newspaper clippings, Freeman's sketches of faculty, and a handwritten note from Ansei Uchima.

1

SLC Miscellanea 1967-1979 

Scope and Contents note

Includes student evaluations from faculty, documentation of campus exhibitions showcasing Freeman's art work, the schedule for commencement week 1971, newspaper and magazine clippings, and the statement of purpose for the boycott in support of professor Daniel Kaiser.

1

General Miscellanea 1968-2007 

Scope and Contents note

Includes photocopies of newspaper and internet articles documenting the life of Freeman's family and friends.

1