Just a little about HELEN LAFRANCE, a self-taught black artist who was born in 1919 in Western Kentucky. Her specialty is memory paintings of the disappearing lifestyle of the rural South, although she has painted and interpreted religious themes and floral studies, usually in oil on canvas. She has painted since she was a small child, always following her mother's wisdom to "paint what you know." Not limited to two-dimensional media, she is an exceptional quilt maker, Biblical interpreter and wood carver, whose animal sculptures and articulated dolls with handmade textile clothing are delightful. But it is her paintings that most strongly suggest a common human experience. The synthesis of her personal history, folk tradition, artistic invention and expression is what makes her unique and thus important.
LaFrance's work is held in many important private collections and museums (and you'll see some of those in the book) throughout the United States and Europe.
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