Skip to main content

Freund family papers

Identifier: Midwest-MS-Freund

Scope and Content of the Collection

Variety of printed and manuscript material relating to the career and philanthropic activities of Geraldine and J. Dennis Freund.

Personal papers and memorabilia include programs, clippings, some correspondence, mementoes (such as autographed photographs, record albums, and toe shoes), notes, photographs, music scores dedicated to or commissioned by Geraldine Freund, and awards and diplomas. There are also articles by J. Dennis Freund, and some information about Fairview Hospital, including film footage of the hospital from 1963, when it moved to new quarters.


  • Creation: 1917-2007
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1959-2007



Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The Freund family papers are open for research in the Special Collections Reading Room; 1 box at a time (Priority III).

Conditions Governing Audiovisual Access

Audiovisual recordings in this collection have not been digitized and are unavailable for use at this time.

Ownership and Literary Rights

The Freund family papers are the physical property of the Newberry Library. Copyright of J. Dennis Freund's books, published and unpublished, belong to Ed Freund. For permission to publish or reproduce any materials from this collection, contact the Roger and Julie Baskes Department of Special Collections at

Biographies of Geraldine and J. Dennis Freund

Philanthropic husband and wife who ran Chicago's first accredited psychiatric hospital and were both organizers and patrons of various music and dance performances around Chicago.

C. (Charlotte) Geraldine Freund was born Dec. 31, 1913, in Russia, but grew up in Elizabeth, New Jersey. She married Dr. Freund in the 1940s and the couple established Fairview Hospital on 4840 North Marine Drive in Chicago in 1943. Fairview was the first exclusively psychiatric hospital in Illinois to receive an accreditation of three years by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. Mrs. Freund's passion was promoting the arts in Chicago, and in the 1960s she created the Free Concerts Foundation, which presented chamber groups for free in Chicago locations. In the 1970s and 1980s she was the creator, promoter, and/or founder of several arts series and concerts, including The International Dance Festival of Stars (bringing renowned dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov to perform in Chicago), the Taneyeve String Quartet, the Lincoln Academy of Illinois awards for artists, a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald, and a musical play for children called "Polly and the Dinosaur," which was performed at Chicago Symphony Orchestra's Children's Concerts series for several seasons. Most of her endeavors were funded by Mrs. Freund herself. Mrs. Freund received many awards and accolades throughout her life, and was beloved in the arts and social circles of the city. She died October 25, 2005.

J. (Julius) Dennis Freund was born Jan. 13, 1912 in Austria. He graduated from the Chicago Medical School in 1940, and served as Medical Director of Fairview Hospital from 1943-1972. He remained in private practice until 1998, and wrote numerous articles and two books (one unpublished) on psychiatry. He was an early proponent of electroshock therapy in treating psychiatric disorders. He accompanied Geraldine Freund to nearly all of the arts functions that she attended, and was described as "the quiet, elegant gentleman, just off in the shadow, keeping a twinkling eye on her whirlings" in one obituary. Dr. J. Dennis Freund died Feb. 2, 2007.


7.6 Linear Feet (6 boxes and 3 oversize boxes)


Personal papers and memorabilia of arts patron and impresario C. Geraldine Freund, who founded several music and dance series in Chicago from 1959 through 2000. Also writings and memorabilia of her husband J. Dennis Freund, a prominent psychiatrist who with his wife founded Chicago's Fairview Hospital.


Arranged by type of material.

Collection Stack Location

1 41 3, 1 43 3


Gift, Ed Freund, 2018.

Processed by

Alison Hinderliter, 2018 (MPLP).



Inventory of the Freund family papers, 1917-2007, bulk 1959-2007
Alison Hinderliter
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the The Newberry Library - Modern Manuscripts and Archives Repository

60 West Walton Street
Chicago Illinois 60610 United States