Doris Freedman

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Doris Chanin Freedman
Born 1928
Died 1981 (aged 52–53)
Occupation Arts activist and administrator

Doris Chanin Freedman (1928–1981) was a pioneer in the field of public art, active in New York City. She was the daughter of architect Irwin Salmon Chanin and his wife Sylvia Schofler.[1]

From 1971 to 1980 Freedman was the president of City Walls Inc., a not-for-profit organization, established in 1969 which worked with artists and communities to revitalize New York City through public art and had sponsored more than fifty murals.[2] In 1971, she founded the Public Arts Council; “both organizations provided technical assistance and financial support for a wide variety of projects, and developed programs to explore the potential of urban public spaces”. In 1977 she founded the Public Art Fund of the City of New York by merging City Walls and the Public Arts Council.[3]

Freedman served as New York City's first Director of Cultural Affairs during the Lindsay Administration, and as President of the Municipal Art Society.[4] Greatly through her efforts New York City introduced Percent for Art legislation in 1982, which requires civil construction projects to spend a portion of their budgets on art.[5]

One of the entrances of Central Park in Manhattan, located at the southeast corner of the Park at 60th Street and Fifth Avenue is called The Doris C. Freedman Plaza in her honour. It is the site of rotating sculptural art installations presented by the Public Art Fund.[6]

In 1982 the Doris C. Freedman Award, dedicated to her memory was established by Executive Order by Mayor Edward I. Koch. The Award honours “an individual or organization for a contribution to the people of the City of New York that greatly enriches the public environment”.[7]

Her daughter Susan Freedman is president of the Public Art Fund since 1986.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ David W. Dunlap (February 26, 1988). "Irwin Chanin, Builder of Theaters And Art Deco Towers, Dies at 96 (Obituary)". The New York Times. Retrieved June 21, 2011. 
  2. ^ Yukie. "From City Walls to City Malls: Public Art in SoHo". The SoHo Memory Project. Retrieved June 21, 2011. 
  3. ^ "Guide to the Public Art Fund Archive 1966-2009". The Fales Library and Special Collections. Retrieved June 21, 2011. 
  4. ^ Public Art Fund: About Public Art Fund: Mission & History
  5. ^ "Doris C. Freedman Plaza". Retrieved June 21, 2011. 
  6. ^ "Central Park, Doris C. Freedman Plaza". Central Park Conservancy. Retrieved June 21, 2011. 
  7. ^ "Mayor Bloomberg presents 2010 Doris C. Freedman Award to Friends of the High Line". June 16, 2010. Retrieved June 21, 2011. 
  8. ^ "Profile: Susan K. Freedman, President". Public Art Fund. 

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