One of the many rooms of the Freeman
collection filled with original ancient pottery, and replicas and
original art, by Bill Freeman.
It’s hard to tell the difference between the highly collectible
ancient pottery on the left and the Freeman replicas on the right.
Signpost featured artist of the month: Bill Freeman
Eclectic art collection moves to Placitas
Placitas is now home to one of the most delightful collections of
artifacts in the United States. This collection contains ancient
objects from Asia, the South Pacific, the Middle East, Europe, Africa,
and the Americas. The person responsible for creating this wonderful
collection is artist and collector Bill Freeman, who recently moved
to a beautiful home in Placitas, where he also has his own art studio
and spends most of his time producing fine replicas of ancient pottery.
With classical music playing in the background, Bill blends his
unique style with the beautiful designs that ancient people from
Native American, Mayan, Aztec, and Peruvian cultures used in their
Walking into this home is like walking into a museum of pottery
and art objects that Bill has been collecting for nearly thirty-five
years. In 1972, he became fascinated by the beauty of Native American
pottery and started collecting it, as well as making replicas of
whatever he encountered when he was hired as an artist to do restoration
of these kinds of pieces. He experimented with a lot of different
techniques, and ended up creating his own.
The beauty and quality of his work became well-known among artifact
collectors. People could not tell the replica from the real one
and his prices were a lot more affordable than buying the real thing.
Bill Freeman was born in 1927 in North Carolina. His father and
mother were portrait artists. His father died when Bill was three
years old. His mother and the four children moved to El Paso, Texas,
where his grandfather and uncle lived and owned a flower farm. Bill
tells great stories about his happy childhood there, raising flowers
and working among the Mexican laborers. His mother kept her career
as a portrait artist, finishing commissions her husband left pending.
She continued painting for the passion of it and also to support
herself and the children.
Bill has lived his life freely and joyfully, always making a living
doing what he wanted to do. In his twenties, he was a cowboy and
worked for ranches in Arizona, Wyoming, and New Mexico. He also
worked for the Arizona Game and Fish Department in the fields of
the north rim of the Grand Canyon, gathering research information
on native plants and animals. At the age of thirty, he decided to
be a full-time artist, an activity that he started at a young age.
As he worked on the ranches, he made oil and canvas his eternal
companions. He was a disciplined artist, working seven days a week
producing oil paintings and bronzes. He has produced over five thousand
paintings during his lifetime. He has shown his work in many cities
and has been published in several books, offering inspiration to
many artists to do the same. Bill is one of the pioneers of the
arts in Scottsdale, Arizona, and Jackson Hole, Wyoming, both of
which are known to have two of the biggest art markets in the western
This year, Bill is seventy-nine years old. He has developed long-term
relationships with many of the people in his same circle of interest.
He is a humble, charming, and casual man who treats everybody equally
and has taught quite a few people his art techniques.
Bill is known by art collectors as a very wise man, a good friend,
an honest person, and a good business man. He has made countless
trades and achieved an enormous collection of pottery and art objects
from all over the world. His collection of artifacts contains a
variety of ceramics, basketry, beaded work, fossils, crystals and
rocks of different kinds, and wooden sculptures and fetishes from
Africa and the Oceanic. Most of these pieces are ancient and can
be compared to objects seen in any of the finest art books or museums.
A friend of Bill’s from Arizona said to him when he moved
to New Mexico, “Arizona lost and New Mexico won a lot.”
Bill’s “open art book house” contains art and
culture everywhere you look—classical music, history, anthropology,
archaeology, geology, and tons of ethnographic art. To visit it
is truly a one-of-a-kind experience.
Bill Freeman shows his fine pottery works in Jackson Hole, Wyoming,
and markets his art both from his home and from the Huey Fine Art
Gallery in Santa Fe. Residents interested in seeing Bill’s
work and collection should contact him through the Huey Fine Art
Gallery at (505) 820-6063.