Helen La France (Kentucky, 1919-2020) oil on canvasboard landscape painting depicting six African American figures picking cotton from a field, with three other figures sitting in horse drawn wagons, foreground and background. A farm building occupies the center of the canvas, while two paddlewheel steamboats pass in the distance, and a brownish cloud hovers overhead. Signed "Helen La France" lower right and dated '95. Sight – 17 3/4" H x 35 1/2" W. Framed – 21 1/2" H x 39 1/4" W. Biography: "Self-taught African American artist Helen LaFrance was born on a Kentucky farm and began painting in her 40s. She is known for her "memory paintings" – drawn from her recollections of life growing up in the rural South. Several museums and private collectors, including Oprah Winfrey, own examples of her work." (Source: "Helen LaFrance Folk Art Memories" by Kathy Moses). Helen Lafrance died November 22, 2020 in a Mayfield, Kentucky nursing home at the age of 101. Provenance: Private Mississippi collection, acquired by consignor's mother directly from the artist. CONDITION: Overall excellent condition with a few scattered extraneous paint spots/drips, trapped brush hairs. A few scattered abrasions to frame.
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