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Helen LaFrance, who painted rural memories, dies at 101

Helen LaFrance paintings are housed in museums in the U.S. and Europe, and in the collections of Oprah Winfrey and Bryant Gumbel.

MAYFIELD, Ky. — A prominent Black Kentucky artist who painted her memories of rural life has died. Helen LaFrance was 101 years old.

Her paintings are housed in museums in the U.S. and Europe, and in the collections of Oprah Winfrey and Bryant Gumbel.

She died in Mayfield on Sunday. LaFrance was self-taught, and her works show people at church, family gatherings, funerals and other aspects of small-town life in western Kentucky. 

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