The Speed Art Museum in Louisville will open an exhibition of art by Helen LaFrance in late August, the museum announced in a press release on Tuesday.
“Kentucky Women: Helen LaFrance” will be in view from August 26, 2022 to April 30, 2023. It will span the decades-long career of the celebrated late artist, featuring more than 35 of her works.
LaFrance, who died aged 101 at the end of 2020is best known for her “remembrance paintings”, which depict joyous and communal times of her life in rural western Kentucky.
“She was very in tune with herself and with what she was doing and what she loved to do,” LaFrance gallerist and art dealer Bruce Shelton told WFPL News in 2020. “She [was] just a kind and gentle woman, besides being a very gifted artist.
“LaFrance was an influential artist whose gifts were recognized by communities and collectors, and this exhibition is designed to introduce new audiences and longtime fans to her life’s work,” Chief speed curator Erika Holmquist-Wall said in the statement. “This is an important step in consolidating his artistic legacy, and we hope this exhibit will help spark more interest in LaFrance’s unique perspective.”
The exhibition will be presented “salon-style” at the Kentucky Gallery, according to the release, “to illustrate the scope of LaFrance’s prodigious creative output while bringing it into conversation with other regional artistic traditions.”
The LaFrance exhibit is the second installment in the museum’s ongoing “Kentucky Women” series, which highlights the works of female artists who call the Bluegrass State home. The first exhibition of the series Featured Enid Yandellan important Louisville sculptor known for his public art commissions.
“Now, with Helen LaFrance, we are able to highlight the influence of another pioneering figure who has had an indelible impact in the arts and in her community, something we look forward to continuing with this series of works. ‘exhibitions,” Speed director Raphaela Platow said in the statement.