Freedman, Barnett: People


Between 1946 and 1955, 40 ‘Lyons Lithographs’ were commissioned, intended for display in Lyons Teashops and we have 7 available from the first series issued. They provide a wonderful overview of post-war Britain as seen by almost all of the period’s most renowned artists and are now real rarities.

They were printed on paper whose quality reflected the austerity of the times and those surviving are frequently grubby and uncared for. Our Lyons Lithographs have all been professionally cleaned and conserved and their colours are fully restored. They are mounted on conservation quality boards and are ready to frame.

‘People’ is the fourth from the First Series of 16 ‘Lithographs by Contemporary Artists’ and a real rarity, especially in this condition. ‘People’ is based on Barnett Freedman’s ‘Street Scene’ painted between 1933 and 1939, and which is in the Tate Gallery. It provides an evocative impression of street life in the Jewish East End, almost certainly combining scenes in Aldgate and Whitechapel.

Printed in colours by Chromoworks Ltd, and published by J.Lyons in 1947, the print is signed in the plate.


Artist: Barnett Freedman (1901-1958)

Title and date: People, 1947, no. 4

Size: 74.5 x 98.0 cms.


Artist description:

Born in east London, Barnett Freedman was awarded a scholarship to the Royal College of Art which he attended between 1922 and 1925. He is remembered chiefly as a pioneer of colour auto-lithography for machine production at the Curwen and Baynard presses, which he achieved by transferring drawings on stone to offset plates. Freedman auto-lithographed some 40 book jackets and numerous posters, including for London Transport, and he played a leading role in the production of large-scale colour prints for Contemporary Lithographs (1937), Lyons (1947, 1951, 1955) and Guinness (1956). During the Second World War he was appointed as an Official War Artist, first with the British Expeditionary Force in France, then with the Admiralty until 1946. Examples of his work are in the Tate Gallery, the Victoria and Albert Museum and Imperial War Museum, London and in numerous provincial British galleries.