Photo courtesy of Eureka Springs
This week, we’ll focus on love. When
I think of love, I think of the epitome of
love, Louis and Elsie Freund. They had
such a love for the arts, Eureka Springs
and, most importantly, one another.
In 1936, an aspiring artist named
Louis Freund met a lovely young woman
named Elsie Bates. He was quite taken
with her, but he said, “I didn’t know how
to become acquainted. So I asked her
to paint with me.” Three years later
with $300 in the bank, the two married
in Eureka Springs and started a life
together, sharing their love of art with
the community. In that same year, they
purchased Hatchet Hall on Steele Street.
It became a summer art school, before
and after World War II. For years, this
neighborhood was an artists’ colony, with
Elsie and Louis as the focal points. Both
nationally known artists, they worked
tirelessly to save Eureka’s old buildings.
They were instrumental in getting Eureka
Springs on the National Register of Historic
Places in 1970.
Louis and Elsie passed away in 1999
and 2001, respectively. But their love
lives on in all of us, and our community.—
Stephanie Stodden, Museum