Nan Freeman


Drawing and Post-Baccalaureate Seminar. Ph.D. in History, Theory, and Criticism of Art and Architecture, MIT ('79); Fine Arts Graduate Studies at Harvard University ('75); School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston ('71); M.A., University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia ('69); B.A., Smith College, Northhampton, MA ('66). Taught at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Brandeis University, Wellesley College, Harvard, and the Faculty of Fine Arts of the University of Marmara in Istanbul. She is widely known for her dramatically large charcoal drawings of small-scale, intimate objects such as jewelry, hair ornaments, and silverware, which for her have great social and cultural potency. Recent solo exhibitions: "The Art of Tiffany Flatware," Tiffany & Co., Boston; "Tempted by Tiaras," School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; and an exhibition based on Arabic women's jewelry in Manama, Bahrain. She has received two grants from the Andrew Mellon Foundation, two Fulbright Fellowships, grants from the government of Spain and Bahrain, the Massachusetts Council of the Arts and Humanities, and a Herbert Cushman Fund Faculty Award from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Artist Statement

Freeman says about her work with tiaras: “While diamonds are one of the most beautiful and visually compelling things I could choose to draw, the nature of their appearance is exceptionally illusive and difficult for my medium . . . I was impressed by thinking about how nature produced carbon, and out of carbon created both diamonds and charcoal. One is considered to be the most valuable material on earth and the other among the least valuable. I wanted to see if I could give my viewers an experience of the diamonds through the charcoal.”

Last Update: September 22 2009
For additional information, contact: Susan Classen-Sullivan