You are here

Dr. August "Gus" Ludwig Freundlich '49

Dr. August Ludwig Freundlich, age 93, passed away October 24, 2018 in Bloomington, Indiana. Dr. Freundlich was born in either 1924 or 1925. The exact year is uncertain, as he lied about his age in order to join the Marine Corps after Pearl Harbor, against his mother's wishes. He served with distinction in Underwater Demolitions, and was severely injured on Iwo Jima, and awarded a Purple Heart.

After an extended rehabilitation, Gus attended Antioch College, where he met and married Lillian Thomson '53, his wife of more than 50 years. He received his Master's in Art History from Columbia, followed by a Ph.D. from NYU.

After brief stints teaching at the University of Arkansas, Eastern Michigan, and Peabody College, Dr. Freundlich was named Chairman of the Art Department and Director of the Lowe Gallery at University of Miami.

Six years later, he became Dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts at Syracuse University, and later Dean of Fine Arts at University of South Florida. During this time, he served a term as President of the International Council of Fine Arts Deans, and was one of the first Americans to visit newly-opened China as a special cultural envoy.

After a short retirement, Gus was chosen as Director of the Florsheim Foundation, a non-profit established by his good friend, the artist Richard Florsheim. He was the author of numerous books, including studies of the artists James Earle Fraser, Sadie Rosenblum, and William Gropper. He was also a devoted collector of art for most of his life, amassing a unique collection of artists' self-portraits and works on paper. Portions of his collection were donated to the Harn Museum at UF, and the Tampa Museum of Art.

Dr. Freundlich is survived by four children, Mary, Jeffry, Heidi, and Christopher; as well as seven grandchildren; and one great-grandchild. A memorial service is planned at the family's home in Sackets Harbor in the spring. Contributions may be made in honor of Dr. Freundlich to the National Art Educators Foundation at NAEF, 901 Prince Street, Alexandria, VA 22314.