Allan Freelon (American, 1895-1960) is best known as a painter of landscapes and seascapes and art teacher from suburban Philadelphia, PA.
Allan Freelon served in World War I. After the war, Freelon returned to his native Philadelphia and pursued a Master’s degree in psychology/education at the University of Pennsylvania.
After spending time abroad in Paris, Freelon continued his studies of painting at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts with famed teacher, Hugh T. Breckenridge.
Cape Ann artist colony
In the 1920s, Freelon studied painting at the Cape Ann art colony in Gloucester, Massachusetts under Emile A. Gruppe.
Gruppe taught Freelon about the techniques for handling pigment and color theory.
Freelon painted numerous seascape compositions based on the motifs of Gloucester including grand harbor scenes, images of the longshoremen at work, and breathtaking scenes of the docks and historic Cape Ann seascapes.
In the 1930s, Freelon participated in the Work Projects Administration Public Art Project. He produced etchings and lithographs with Earl Horter and Michael Gallagher. Throughout the 1930s, Freelon showed with other African American painters including Frank Dillon, Beauford Delaney, and William H. Johnson in the famed Harmon Foundation exhibitions.
By the 1940s, Freelon established his own private art studio and held art classes in his home in Telford, Bucks County, Pennsylvania.
Throughout his career, Freelon enjoyed close personal relationships with famed artists Joe Brown, Ben Shahn, and Hale Woodruff. Freelon worked within the Philadelphia public school system and played an active role in the fight for civil rights with W. E. B. DuBois and Shirley Jackson.
In his late career, Freelon was a member of the Lehigh Art Alliance and showed his work at the Whitney Museum in New York City.
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