Helen La France (American/Kentucky, 1919-2020) oil on canvas painting depicting a crowd of people gathered outdoors for a patriotic or political program, possibly a 4th of July Independence Day event with a number of figures dressed in military uniforms. Some people in civilian clothes stand while others are seated at red and white cloth covered tables. At center, a United States flag flies over a dais as one figure appears to speak from a podium and a woman sits at a piano below. A clearing beyond the podium suggests the scene is set in front of a lake. Signed lower right. Housed in a weathered giltwood frame. Canvas – 9″ H x 12″ W. Framed – 12″ H x 15″ 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. CONDITION: Couple of narrow lines of dripped paint at center of painting (near podium), a few brush hairs trapped in paint. Overall excellent condition. Frame has some wear, a couple of extraneous paint drips, and scratches.
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