Renee Free gained a BA in Sydney in 1956 and a post-graduate diploma in the history of art from the Courtauld Institute, London University in 1961. After living briefly in Italy, she joined the Art Gallery of New South Wales as Assistant in 1966. She retired as Senior Curator of European Art in 1996. Renee first interviewed Frank Hinder in 1966, for Daniel Thomas' exhibition of Balson, Crowley, Hinder, Fizelle. It was the start of a thirty-year friendship with Frank and his wife Margel, a distinguished sculptor. This ultimately led to the joint Hinder Retrospective at the AGNSW in 1980, the Frank Hinder website and The Art of Frank Hinder.

Renee Free has written books, catalogues and essays on Lloyd Rees, James Gleeson and Tony Tuckson and on the European collection of the AGNSW.