Scope and Contents
The papers of multimedia artist and filmmaker Linda Freeman measure 32.9 linear feet and date from 1971-2015, with the bulk of the material dating from 1990-2011. The collection primarily consists of the production archives of Freeman's video documentary production company L and S Video, producer of 27 short subject documentaries on contemporary American art and artists. Subjects include Emma Amos, Benny Andrews, Romare Bearden, Charles Burchfield, Elizabeth Catlett, Chuck Close, Robert Colescott, Jimmy and Max Ernst, Red Grooms, Jacob Lawrence, Richard Mayhew, Howardena Pindell, Horace Pippin, Faith Ringgold, and Betye and Alison Saar. Additional documentaries on subjects other than single artists include works on Luba artists of Central Africa, the creative process (on Freeman and five other artists featured in other documentaries in the collection), mixed media artists (on Alvin Loving, Flo Oy Wong, and Alison Saar), self-taught artists (on William Hawkins, Bill Traylor, and Grandma Moses), and a six-part series on art subjects for children called I Can Fly.
For each documentary, original, unedited footage shot by Freeman of artist interviews, studio footage, and interviews with subject experts is found, featuring curators, gallerists, collectors, and art historians speaking about the documentary subjects. In almost every case, significant original footage is found that was not used in the finished documentary and therefore unique to this collection, especially in the form of original interviews and studio footage.
Footage obtained from third-parties for use in the documentaries is found for several works including the Red Grooms, Luba, Crown Heights, and Romare Bearden documentaries. Notable among third-party material is a copy of Howardena Pindell's video performance work "Free, White, and 21" (1980). Also found are original footage and master material for "Pit Stop," a short fiction film by Robert Colescott, produced by Linda Freeman.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The collection was donated in 2015 by Linda Freeman, L and S Video.
The collection was processed, and a finding aid prepared by Megan McShea in 2019. During processing, many duplicates of video recordings, created as part of the production process and not needed for archival purposes, were discovered. All unique content was retained, and where duplication was discovered, the earliest generation copies and best secondary copies were retained. For master material, an additional copy may have been retained to maintain the highest quality format of each master video.