biography

Good day,

Lydia Cooley Freeman (1906 – 1998) was the wife of the children’s book author and graphic artist Don Freeman (see www.donfreeman.info). Lydia co-authored several of Don’s children’s books (Chuggy and the Blue Caboose, Pet of the Met) and illustrated two children’s books (Onion Journey by Julia Cunningham, and Wind in My Hand by Hanako Fukuda). Lydia was a fine oil and watercolor artist on her own. She began her art studies at the University of California at Los Angeles and continued them at the Art Students League where she studied with John Sloan in the early 1930’s. In fact, Don considered Lydia to be the better artist of the two! Her work has been exhibited at New York’s Whitney Museum of American Art and at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art as a one-(wo)man show.

I have created this Website in memory of my mother mainly to introduce her little-known poetry (her “haikus”) and the work she did in her late years in Switzerland.

The site is still under construction.
There are new images under “Paintings,” and Lydia’s Haikus & Sketches is ready and waiting for your visit!

Lydia Cooley Freeman

Lydia Cooley Freeman was born in 1907 in Tacoma, Washington. She grew up in Southern California where she began her art studies at the University of California at Los Angeles. Later, in New York, she attended the Art Students’ League and studied with John Sloan and Harry Wicky. She married Don Freeman in 1932 in New York, but continued to use her maiden name (Cooley) when signing her paintings. Her work has been exhibited at New York’s Whitney Museum of American Art and at the Santa Barbara Musuem of Art. She co-authored two children’s books with Don: Chuggy and the Blue Caboose and Pet of the Met. She also illustrated books by other authors, including Wind in My Hand by Hanako Fukuda and Onion Journey by Julia Cunningham (using her maiden name Lydia Cooley). She continued to paint until her death in 1998 in Zurich, Switzerland.

(Roy Freeman, last update: April, 2010)

Hello, friend of Lydia

If you want, and only then, Roy (Lydia's son) will send you a personal email every now and then to let you know any news of Lydia or her work. (There are things coming up!).
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