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Kenn Freeman photograph collection

Author: Kenn FreemanB ColemanL St Clair DummettJames J KriegsmannAgnus McBeanAll authors
Publisher: [192-?-1985]
Edition/Format:   Image : Graphic : Photograph : English
Publication:Kenn Freeman papers, 1930-1988
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
The Kenn Freeman Photograph Collection mainly depicts some aspects of his personal life and his career as an actor and entertainer, from around the 1920s to the mid-1980s.
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Genre/Form: Portrait photographs
Group portraits
Snapshots
Publicity photographs
Photographic postcards
Erotica
Gelatin silver prints
Dye coupler prints
Dye diffusion transfer prints
Instant camera photographs
Halftone photomechanical prints
Inscriptions
Pastel drawings
Gelatin silver film negatives
Dye coupler negatives
Named Person: Kenn Freeman; Bee Freeman; Roy Allen; Eddie Banks; Laura Bowman; Georgia Burke; Warren Coleman; Ossie Davis; Ruby Dee; Roy Eldridge; Reginald Fenderson; Maxwell Glanville; Betty Haynes, (Actress); Lennie Hayton; Sammy Heyward; Lena Horne; Earle Hyman; Claire Jay; Janice Kingslow; Claire Leyba; Yvonne Machen; Claudia McNeil; Paul Meeres; Frederick O'Neal; Massie Patterson; John Proctor, actor.; Frank Silvera; Hilda Simms; John Tate; Lorenzo Tucker; Anita Turner; Emmett Babe Wallace; Edith Whiteman
Material Type: Graphic, Photograph
Document Type: Visual material
All Authors / Contributors: Kenn Freeman; B Coleman; L St Clair Dummett; James J Kriegsmann; Agnus McBean; Houston Rogers; Houston Russell; Lorenzo Tucker; Bloom (Chicago, Ill.); Chidnoff (New York, N.Y.); Coleman's Atomic Photos (San Mateo, Calif.); Elcha (New York, N.Y.); Gashion (Chiswick, London); Ship's Service Studio (San Francisco, Calif.); Yvonne (London, Great Britain)
OCLC Number: 78761281
In: Freeman, Kenn, 1917-1991
Notes: Title devised by cataloger.
Some photographs bear photographer's or photography studio's hand stamp on verso, and/or blindstamp on recto; some images have photography studio name printed on recto. Some items bear handwritten or printed notations on verso; some images have handwritten captions or inscriptions on recto. Some images are cropped; some items are attached to photo album pages; some photographs are duplicates.
The collection contains work by L. St. Clair Dummett, Bloom Studio, Yvonne of London, Coleman's Atomic Photos, and Elcha, New York, among others.
Description: 575 items (.7 lin. ft., 2 boxes) 79 photographic prints : silver gelatin, b&w ; 26 x 21 cm. or smaller. 32 photographic prints : silver gelatin, b&w ; 21 x 26 cm. or smaller. 104 photographic prints : silver gelatin, b&w, some hand-col. ; 18 x 13 cm. or smaller. 97 photographic prints : silver gelatin, b&w, some hand-col. ; 13 x 18 cm. or smaller. 114 photographic prints : silver gelatin, b&w ; 9 x 9 cm. or smaller. 45 photographic prints : col. ; 26 x 21 cm. or smaller. 30 dye diffusion transfer prints : col. ; 10 x 11 cm. or smaller. 2 instant camera photographs : b&w ; 11 x 9 cm. 7 photographic postcards : b&w ; 14 x 9 cm. or smaller. 1 halftone photomechanical print : b&w ; 14 x 12 cm. 1 news clipping : halftone, b&w ; 20 x 8 cm. 3 postcards : col. ; 11 x 15 cm. or smaller. 2 photo matchbooks : b&w ; 6 x 6 cm. 1 pamphlet : halftone, b&w ; 11 x 16 cm. folded, 44 x 16 cm. open. 1 drawing : pastel and pencil, col. ; 35 x 26 cm. 16 negatives : col. ; 2 x 2 cm. 40 negatives : b&w ; 26 x 21 cm. or smaller.

Abstract:

The Kenn Freeman Photograph Collection mainly depicts some aspects of his personal life and his career as an actor and entertainer, from around the 1920s to the mid-1980s.

The collection consists of individual and group portraits and candid shots of Freeman; his mother, actress Bee Freeman; personal friends; colleagues in the entertainment field; and sailors and soldiers. Also depicted are publicity photographs and candid views of touring theatrical productions; views of social gatherings, parties and vacations; some street scenes and cityscapes of American and European cities; some views of military life; and interior views of individual dwellings and an office space. Views of Kenn Freeman's early life and Bee Freeman's theatrical career are limited; the collection lacks views of his television and movie career.

The Personal series includes a studio portrait and a snapshot of Kenn Freeman as a pre-adolescent child (ca. 1920s); studio portraits and snapshots of Freeman during his service in the United States Navy (1943-1945); studio portraits of Freeman, most probably used for publicity or résumé purposes, including shots of him in character for various roles (ca. 1940s to 1950s); undated studio portraits of Bee Freeman that were probably used for publicity purposes; several snapshot portraits of Freeman, at various locations, probably taken during the 1940s to the 1980s; individual and group candid shots of Bee Freeman, some with friends or acquaintances, taken during the 1940s to the 1970s; and candid shots and snapshots of both Bee and Kenn Freeman (ca. 1940s to 1970s).

The series also includes individual and group portraits of friends; candid views of social gatherings, private parties and some outdoor activities; some snapshot and postcard views of cites, including Los Angeles, Paris and London; a small group of images depicting United Staes Navy sailors on review or recreating (ca. 1940s); and a limited number of snapshots of men in homoerotic poses. A portion of the series consists of studio and candid portraits of military men, mostly African American sailors, who were probably Navy friends of Freeman.

The Professional activities series consists mainly of studio portraits, production stills and candid shots taken during the national and overseas tours of the theatrical production "Anna Lucasta," from 1946 to 1947, and, possibly, 1949 and 1954. Kenn Freeman joined the company in mid-1946. The series includes some inscribed studio portraits of cast members from the 1946 Chicago production, including Hilda Simms, Frederick O'Neal, Earle Hyman, Roy Allen, Janice Kingslow and Claire Leyba; Freeman backstage with fellow cast member Ruby Dee, probably at the Nixon Theatre in Pittsburgh, during the 1946-1947 national tour; candid shots and group portraits from a cast party given at Blackshears Supper Club, San Francisco (1947); candid shots and group portraits of the cast during the British tour in the fall of 1947, including a visit to Oxford Castle; production sills from the 1947 London production, featuring Freeman, O'Neal, Simms, Leyba, Frank Silvera, Georgia Burke, Babe Wallace, John Proctor and Eddie Banks; and production stills from some undated performances. Other cast members depicted in stills or candid shots include Ossie Davis, Edith Whiteman, Laura Bowman, Warren Coleman, Anita Turner, Yvonne Machen, John Tate, Betty Haynes, Claire Jay, Maxwell Glanville, Reginald Fenderson and Bee Freeman, among others. Also depicted in some group shots are singer/actress Lena Horne and her husband, arranger/composer Lennie Hayton.

The series also depicts Kenn Freeman in an unidentified club performance with Louis Haase; in costume, standing on a fire escape, during "Anna Lucasta's" run in San Francisco (1947); with Bee Freeman, Lorenzo Tucker and other cast members of the "Borcht Circute Production" Stanley Woolf Players, during curtain call (n.d.); and in a series of snapshots, from an unidentified play, that also feature Claudia McNeil, Robert Brown, Floyd Ennis, Greg Hunter, William Hurston, Richard Ward and Eva White. Also included are a group of snapshots depicting the office of the Negro Actors Guild in New York (ca. late 1970s), showing Freeman, who was the Guild's historian; candid portraits of the office staff; views of a memorial service; and views of pictures and memorabilia on the walls. The series also has a group of studio portraits, most inscribed, of other entertainment friends of Freeman, including dancer Paul Meeres, composer/author Sammy Heyward, jazz trumpeter Roy Eldridge and calypso musician Massie Patterson.

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