Elsie Freund

born Mincy, MO 1912-died Little Rock, AR 2001
Media - portrait_image_113840.jpg - 90449
Photo by David Fithian, Courtesy of The DeLand Museum of Art
Also known as
  • Elsie-Marie Bates Freund
  • Elsa Freund
  • Elsa Bates
  • Elsie M. Fruend
  • Elsie Bates Freund
Mincy, Missouri, United States
Little Rock, Arkansas,
Active in
  • Eureka Springs, Arkansas,

Elsa Freund drew inspiration from her home in the Ozarks and applied it to painting and ceramics. Because she worked in two media, her husband, Louis, suggested she call her ceramic work “Elsaramics.” The name proved too long to imprint on stones, but Freund adopted part of it, signing all of her jewelry as “Elsa” and her paintings as “Elsie.” When she began selling her jewelry, she was unsure what to charge, and priced the pieces according to local plumbers’ wages. Like many modern jewelry makers, Freund was influenced by the Bauhaus, and also admired the work of contemporary artists such as Alexander Calder. Though she is a pioneer in her field, her work went largely unrecognized until the late 1980s when friend and fellow artist Robert Ebendorf began to promote her legacy.