Robert Freiman, deaf from birth, was born in March 1917 in New York City. He attended an oral program near his home and later transferred to the Lexington School for the Deaf when he was six. Early in his childhood, his love for drawing, painting and studying became apparent, and as an adult, he continued his studies in New York at the National Academy of Design, Pratt Institute, the Art Students League and the Parsons School of Design. In Paris, he studied at the Ecole des Beaux Arts. Freiman was especially focused on painting portraits and figures in motion in various mediums, especially the mixed-media combination of watercolor, acrylic and pen. Among his subjects were acrobats, ballet dancers, cyclists and other athletes. He as well focused on abstracts for a time, discovering new media in his works with quick brushwork and expressive movements.