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Francisca Negueloua Fry

The author, Lillian Negueloua Broderick, was twelve when she went with her older sister, Francisca, and her fiancĂ©, Wayland Fry, to oversee the installation of the mural “The River” at the Tallulah, LA Post Office shortly before their marriage in August, l938 in New Orleans:

Francisca Negueloua Fry was born in New Orleans in l917, the oldest daughter of Henri Hilaire Negueloua and Lillian Sophie Arnoult. Fran was multi-talented. From an early age she took art lessons, winning a citywide contest at the age of 6 with her drawing of the circus. She loved to draw and paint, and was seldom without her sketchpad. Francisca was forever writing stories and inventing games. As a teenager she taught herself how to make marionettes and traveled around the city with her troupe of them giving shows at children’s birthday parties.

Francisca attend St Stephen’s parochial school before entering Newcomb College at the age of 15 where she flourished in the art department at Newcomb. On graduation she won a scholarship to the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia. It was there that she won some kind of a competition that gained her the commission for the Tallulah mural.

After her marriage Francisca and her husband lived in the French Quarter for two years before moving to upstate New York to live on a dairy farm owned by her husband’s family. Fran, a thorough New Orleanean, missed her family, her friends, and the artists’ life she’d enjoyed in her native city. She did appreciate the beauty of the countryside, which she caught in a series of beautiful watercolors.

Five years later, she and her husband moved back to New Orleans with their three children. After her husband’s early death in l948, she remained a resident in New Orleans until her own death at the age of 55 in l972. She had launched a successful career in advertising both in television commercials at WWL and at D.H. Holmes department store. Francisca continued to produce watercolors of familiar cityscapes as well as portraits in watercolors or oils of any family member willing to sit for her. Many of them grace our walls today.

Francisca Negueloua Fry is survived by three children, Jacqueline Fry of New Orleans, Pamela Fry and Henry Fry, of Covington, Louisiana, and seven grandchildren.