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Betty Freeman Papers
MSS 227  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Biography
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Restrictions
  • Publication Rights

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Betty Freeman Papers
    Identifier/Call Number: MSS 227
    Contributing Institution: Mandeville Special Collections Library
    9500 Gilman Drive
    La Jolla, California, 92093-0175
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 33.8 Linear feet (59 archives boxes, 2 records cartons, 1 cardfile box, 21 art bin items, 1 rolled drawing and 97 oversize folders)
    Date (inclusive): 1965 - 2008
    Abstract: Papers of Betty Freeman, photographer, philanthropist, and patron of New Music and contemporary composers. The collection dates between 1965 and 2008 and contains photographs both of and by Freeman; correspondence with numerous artists and composers; and original artworks by Robert Wilson, John Cage, Steve Reich, and Merce Cunningham. The collection also includes clippings and ephemera related to music and the arts, musical scores dedicated to Freeman, and drafts of unpublished manuscripts written by Freeman.
    Creator: Freeman, Betty

    Scope and Content of Collection

    ACCESSION PROCESSED IN 1993
    The Betty Freeman Papers contain materials that reflect Freeman's activities as a philanthropist and patron of contemporary composers and New Music. The collection is arranged in two series: 1) CORRESPONDENCE AND SUBJECT FILES and 2) ARTWORKS.
    SERIES 1: CORRESPONDENCE AND SUBJECT FILES
    The CORRESPONDENCE AND SUBJECT FILES series contains files, arranged by name of person that often comprise a variety of materials - correspondence, autographed programs, catalogs, and newsclippings. Well represented are composers John Adams, John Cage, Robert Erickson, Peter Garland, Lou Harrison, Harry Partch, Steve Reich, Virgil Thomson, and La Monte Young. Although Freeman's relationship with contemporary composers forms the bulk of the collection, many personalities in music and the arts are represented.
    SERIES 2: ARTWORKS
    In the ARTWORKS series are framed and unframed works given to Freeman from numerous artists. Many celebrate her birthday and are dedicated by the artist. The materials are arranged by artist.
    ACCESSIONS PROCESSED IN 1996
    The accessions to the Betty Freeman Papers processed in 1996 chiefly comprise correspondence and subject files regarding the artists to whom Freeman provided emotional and financial support. Many files, including those for Robert Wilson, John Cage, Merce Cunningham, Steve Reich, and Mel Powell, contain personal exchanges, newspaper articles and critical reviews of a particular artist's work. Additional materials include photographs, personal mementos, musical scores (some in manuscript), and various works of art. The collection is arranged in five series: 3) CORRESPONDENCE AND SUBJECT FILES, 4) MUSICAL SCORES, 5) ARTWORKS, 6) CURIOS AND MEMENTOS, and 7) PHOTOGRAPHS.
    SERIES 3: CORRESPONDENCE AND SUBJECT FILES
    The CORRESPONDENCE AND SUBJECT FILES series contains files arranged alphabetically by person or topic. This series contains a wide range of materials, ranging from personal and business correspondence to autographed programs, catalogs, newsclippings and periodicals, and information on the artists. Persons include John Adams, Louis Andriessen, George Benjamin, Phillipe Boesmans, Pierre Boulez, John Cage, Philip Glass, Lou Harrison, Gyorgy Ligeti, Harry Partch, Mel Powell, Steve Reich, choreographers Merce Cunningham and Bill T. Jones, conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen, and director Robert Wilson. In addition to information about the artists with whom Freeman worked, files on composers such as Wolfgang Mozart, Arnold Shoenberg, and Olivier Messiaen are also present.
    SERIES 4: MUSICAL SCORES
    MUSICAL SCORES are by Harrison Birtwistle, John Cage, Morton Lauridsen, Gyorgy Ligeti, Tod Machover, Mel Powell, and Christopher Rouse. Several scores appear in holograph, and many are accompanied by information on the composer and the particular piece.
    SERIES 5: ARTWORKS
    The ARTWORKS series contains the architectural/essayistic collaboration of Sumiko Kamagai and Shin Kano dedicated to John Cage. It also contains artworks by Mark Bulwinkle, John Cage, Steve Reich, and Charles Shere, and posters of Darius Milhaud, the Cabrillo Music Festival, the Salzburg Festival, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Rolywholyover: A Circus for Museum, and Wilson's "Einstein on the Beach."
    SERIES 6: CURIOS AND MEMENTOS
    CURIOS AND MEMENTOS contains three items. The first is a fossil in stone that was originally given by John Cage to Merce Cunningham; Cunningham subsequently gave it to Freeman. The second is a bundle of black satin ribbon with gold lettering from the Los Angeles Philharmonic. The last item is a nail found in Barstow by a researcher on hobos who was tracing Harry Partch's adventures there.
    SERIES 7: PHOTOGRAPHS
    The PHOTOGRAPHS series documents two music-related events: The American Music Center Award held in 1986 at Lincoln Center in New York City; and, The Gold Baton of the American Symphony Orchestra League held in 1987 at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City. Among those featured in the first set of photographs are John Cage, Lou Harrison, Milton Babbit, and Paul Zukofsky. The latter set of photographs features John Cage, Nicolas Slonimsky, Alan Rich, Ned Rorem, and Peter Kermani. Also included in this series is a photograph from Lou Harrison of the Gamelan he named for Freeman.
    ACCESSIONS PROCESSED IN 1998
    The accession to the Betty Freeman Papers processed in 1998 includes clippings, letters to Freeman, several writings by Freeman, musical scores commissioned and/or dedicated to Freeman, artworks, awards, audiocassette interviews with Freeman, and outtakes from her film on Harry Partch entitled The Dreamer That Remains: A Portrait Of Harry Partch. The collection is arranged in eight series: 8) CLIPPINGS, 9) CORRESPONDENCE, 10) WRITINGS, 11) MUSICAL SCORES, 12) ARTWORKS AND POSTERS, 13) AWARDS AND GIFTS, 14) PHOTOGRAPHS, and 15) RECORDINGS.
    SERIES 8: CLIPPINGS
    The CLIPPINGS series contains articles about Betty Freeman, programs listing works she commissioned, panels on which she served, and her published photographs of composers and artists arranged alphabetically.
    SERIES 9: CORRESPONDENCE
    The CORRESPONDENCE series contains two folders: letters to Betty Freeman and letters to editors from Freeman.
    SERIES 10: WRITINGS
    The WRITINGS by Betty Freeman consist of an article on new music for Upbeat in 1990 and the speech she delivered at the Cunningham Award Dinner in 1984.
    SERIES 11: MUSICAL SCORES
    The MUSICAL SCORES series includes primarily published versions or bound photocopies of works in progress and works commissioned by and/or dedicated to Betty Freeman, many of which are inscribed with personal notes by the composer. The works of Fredric Myrow and Mel Powell contain pages from manuscript scores. Other composers include John Cage, Robert Erickson, Lou Harrison, Harry Partch, and Virgil Thomson.
    SERIES 12: ARTWORKS AND POSTERS
    The ARTWORKS AND POSTERS series includes artwork by Mark Bulwinkle, John Cage and William Kraft, a David Hockney poster for the San Francisco Opera, a Pierre Boulez Festival poster, and a Los Angeles Philharmonic poster with photography by Betty Freeman.
    SERIES 13: AWARDS AND GIFTS
    The AWARDS AND GIFTS series contains plaques and certificates awarded to Betty Freeman for her film The Dreamer That Remains: A Portrait Of Harry Partch, a gold baton from the American Symphony Orchestra League, a stone from the Cunningham Dance Foundation presented to her by John Cage, and two folders containing inscribed programs and keepsakes.
    SERIES 14: PHOTOGRAPHS
    The PHOTOGRAPHS series contains a group of photographs documenting the Cunningham Dance Foundation Arts Salute in February 1984, where Freeman received an award from John Cage. It also includes a photograph from Peter Garland taken during a trip to Mexico in 1981. Magazine clippings of published photographs by Freeman of artists and composers are located in Series 1: CLIPPINGS.
    SERIES 15: RECORDINGS
    The RECORDINGS series is arranged in two subseries: A) Film and B) Audiocassettes. Among the films are outtakes from the Betty Freeman-produced film The Dreamer That Remains: A Portrait Of Harry Partch. Audiocassettes include radio interviews of Freeman and programs of music dedicated to her.
    ACCESSIONS PROCESSED IN 2001
    The accession to the Betty Freeman Papers processed in 2001 contains correspondence, clippings, festival brochures and programs, musical scores commissioned by or dedicated to Freeman, photographs, cassette audio- and videorecordings, artworks, and miscellaneous material. The collection is arranged in seven series: 16) CORRESPONDENCE AND SUBJECT FILES, 17) FESTIVAL MATERIALS, 18) MUSICAL SCORES, 19) PHOTOGRAPHS, 20) RECORDINGS, 21) ARTWORKS AND POSTERS, and 22) MISCELLANEOUS.
    SERIES 16: CORRESPONDENCE AND SUBJECT FILES
    The CORRESPONDENCE AND SUBJECT FILES series, arranged alphabetically, contains correspondence with composers and artists, brochures and programs, and clippings. The collection features primarily composers such as John Adams, Harrison Birtwistle, and Steve Reich, but also includes materials from dramaturges such as Peter Sellars and Robert Wilson, as well as other members of the arts community.
    SERIES 17: FESTIVAL MATERIALS
    The FESTIVAL MATERIALS series is arranged in three subseries: A) Glyndebourne, B) Salzburg, and C) Miscellaneous. The materials include concert programs and brochures describing various festival events that Freeman attended.
    SERIES 18: MUSICAL SCORES
    The MUSICAL SCORES series features published, and in many cases, inscribed editions of works commissioned by and/or dedicated to Freeman. Composers include George Benjamin, Harrison Birtwistle, and Steve Mackey.
    SERIES 19: PHOTOGRAPHS
    The PHOTOGRAPHS series is arranged in two subseries: A) By Betty Freeman, and B) By Others. The first subseries contains several of Freeman's black-and-white photographs, a list of the various people she photographed, and clippings and exhibit brochures detailing Freeman's photography career.
    SERIES 20: RECORDINGS
    The RECORDINGS series is arranged by format. The audio cassettes feature various concerts at the Eastman School of Music. CDs are inscribed by the composer or performer. The video recordings include a VHS version of The Dreamer That Remains: A Portrait Of Harry Partch, as well as documentaries about Conlon Nancarrow and Nicolas Slonimsky.
    SERIES 21: ARTWORKS AND POSTERS
    The ARTWORKS AND POSTERS series contains concert posters, drawings, collages, and decorated music manuscripts by colleagues and composers including George Benjamin, Joe Brainard, and Matthias Pintscher.
    SERIES 22: MISCELLANEOUS
    The MISCELLANEOUS series includes biographical clippings and information on Betty Freeman, as well as esoteric writings by assorted authors.
    ACCESSIONS PROCESSED IN 2009
    Accessions to the Betty Freeman Papers processed in 2009 include correspondence with composers and artists, clippings, musical scores, photographs, slides, negatives, and recordings. Also included are several unpublished manuscripts by Freeman, including drafts of books about Clyfford Still, Sam Francis, and Freeman's friendship with Robert Wilson. The materials are arranged in six series: 23) BIOGRAPHICAL MATERIALS AND EPHEMERA, 24) CORRESPONDENCE AND SUBJECT FILES, 25) WRITINGS BY BETTY FREEMAN, 26) MUSICAL SCORES, 27) PHOTOGRAPHS, and 28) RECORDINGS.
    SERIES 23: BIOGRAPHICAL MATERIALS AND EPHEMERA
    The BIOGRAPHICAL MATERIALS AND EPHEMERA series contains biographical information written by Freeman and others, lists of Freeman's exhibitions, as well as lists describing her financial support of various musicians and composers. Also included are posters for Freeman's exhibitions and a certificate of recognition from Salzburg, Austria.
    SERIES 24: CORRESPONDENCE AND SUBJECT FILES
    The CORRESPONDENCE AND SUBJECT FILES series, arranged alphabetically, contains correspondence with composers and artists, as well as brochures, programs, and clippings. Individuals in this series include John Adams, David Hockney, Jorg Immendorff, Bill T. Jones, Nicolas Slonimsky, and Robert Wilson. Notable items in the series include an original framed portrait of Freeman by Jorg Immendorff, and elaborately decorated envelopes sent by Ernst Richter. Also included are clippings about Freeman, and ephemera from many events in which she was involved.
    SERIES 25: WRITINGS BY BETTY FREEMAN
    The WRITINGS BY BETTY FREEMAN series includes many short pieces by Freeman, such as autobiographies and speeches. There is a journal that Freeman kept when she visited Bali with Franco Assetto in 1973. There are full-length drafts of unpublished manuscripts, one on Clyfford Still and another on Sam Francis, entitled "Sam Francis: Ideas and Paintings." There are also photocopied mock-ups of a book she was compiling about her fax and postcard correspondence with Robert Wilson, entitled "A Faxing Friendship."
    SERIES 26: MUSICAL SCORES
    The MUSICAL SCORES series includes published works given to Freeman by George Benjamin, Harrison Birtwistle, Olga Neuwirth, Steven Stucky, and James Tenney. Many were commissioned by or dedicated to Freeman, and are inscribed by the composers.
    SERIES 27: PHOTOGRAPHS
    The PHOTOGRAPHS series contains prints, negatives, slides and contact sheets, and is arranged by subject in four subseries: A) Exhibitions and Events, B) Portraits, C) Art Collection, and D) Still Lifes, Landscapes, and Street Scenes. Exhibitions and Events includes an exhibition of Freeman's photography in Salzburg in 2001 and the Lincoln Center Festival in New York, in 1996. The Portraits subseries is arranged alphabetically by subject and includes portraits, both formal and snap-shots, of Ansel Adams, David Hockney, Jorg Immendorff, Roy Lichtenstein, Henry Miller, Robert Wilson, and others. Many of these portraits were published and exhibited publically by Freeman. The Art Collection subseries includes photographs of Freeman's private art collection, mainly kept in her home in Beverly Hills, California. Still Lifes, Landscapes, and Street Scenes includes numerous photographs taken by Freeman from the 1970s-2000s, as well as several images of Garsington Manor in Oxford, England.
    SERIES 28: RECORDINGS
    The RECORDINGS series is arranged by format. Formats include audio on reel-to-reel tapes, cassettes and CDs, as well as moving footage on DVD and VHS. Included are a telephone message left by Sam Francis after Freeman had not heard from him in ten years, conversations with Sam Francis and Bill T. Jones, the Betty Freeman photo exhibit reception at UCSD's Geisel Library, and an interview with Freeman by Jeff Perkins.

    Biography

    Betty Freeman was born in Chicago, Illinois, in 1921 and was raised in Brooklyn, New York. She was graduated from Wellesley in 1942, where she had studied music. She later took classes at the Juilliard Institute.
    Freeman began her activities as a philanthropist and supporter of musicians in 1961 by contributing to a young musician's legal defense. Since then, she has assisted more than 30 contemporary composers. Beginning in 1964, Freeman served on the board of "Encounters," the Pasadena Art Museum's concert program, and beginning in 1981, she hosted her Monday Evening Musicales, a venue for the new works of composers, in her Beverly Hills home. She served on the board of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, having supported for over a decade the orchestra's New Music Group until its close in 1991.
    Betty Freeman was an accomplished photographer. Her exhibit "Music People," a collection of photographs of leading figures in the world of contemporary music, toured internationally and was published as a book entitled Music People and Others (1987). She also produced a documentary film about Harry Partch entitled The Dreamer That Remains: A Portrait of Harry Partch (1972).
    Freeman died in January 2009, at the age of 87.

    Preferred Citation

    Betty Freeman Papers, MSS 227. Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego.

    Acquisition Information

    Not Available

    Restrictions

    The recordings in the collection are restricted. Researchers must request user copies be produced.

    Publication Rights

    Publication rights are held by the creator of the collection.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Adams, John, 1947-
    Amirkhanian, Charles
    Boulez, Pierre, 1925-
    Cage, John
    Cope, David
    Cunningham, Merce
    Erickson, Robert, 1917-1997
    Feldman, Morton, 1926-1987
    Glass, Philip
    Harrison, Lou, 1917-2003
    Oliveros, Pauline, 1932-
    Partch, Harry, 1901-1974
    Reich, Steve, 1936-
    Rorem, Ned, 1923-
    Slonimsky, Nicolas, 1894-1995
    Thomson, Virgil, 1896-1989
    Wilson, Robert, 1928-
    Young, La Monte
    Zukofsky, Paul
    Avant-garde (Music)--United States--20th century
    Composers--United States--Correspondence
    Music -- United States -- 20th Century
    Musicians as artists--20th century
    Photographic prints -- 1986-1987.