Visual Biography

Louisie’s mother, Mary Louise Perkins–the star of the May fete
Louise’s father, Webster Millsaps Fitzhugh at his most debonair circa 1920’s
Hutchison class, age 12. Louise is holding Mickey Mouse

Louise Fitzhugh and France Burke lived together in the attic garret of 7 Leroy Street from 1952-1956. France is on the left and Louise on the right.

Louise and France
Here is a cartoon by their friend and fellow artist (Jean) Sherman of 7 Leroy Street. France is standing at the door, and their cat Macbeth on the right gable. Take a look at the nuns in the convent across the street.
Louise and France’s cat Macduff

Macduff posed for Louise many times. In October 1955, Louise showed a painting of him at the Panoras Gallery on 56th st. It was reviewed by a critic in The Village Voice, (Howard Rackliffe), who had this to say:

“an especially handsome composition in mat surface is Louise Fitzhugh’s sleeping cat, with His Tabbyship sprawling in ancient ease, and lending his slumbering dignity to the painter’s wide-awake-perception.”

Howard Rackliffe, The Village Voice
Here is Louise painting, with a cartoon of MacDuff in the lower left corner.

The finished painting is owned by Sam Shea who was married to the late France Burke. Sam has kindly permitted me to reprint the photographs you see here.

A few more photos from 1952-1956, when Louise and France lived on Leroy Street.

Louise with her friend Gina Jackson, a photographer, also from Tennessee.
Here’s a photo of Louise and France playing music together. France on violin and Louise on flute.
Sandra Scoppettone

Sandra Scoppettone met Louise around 1957. She wrote Suzuki Beane, which Louise illustrated. Later, Sandra collaborated with Louise on Bang, Bang You’re Dead. They were, according to Sandra (who went on to have her own brilliant writing career) “Friends then lovers then friends.”  

A book of musical anecdotes which Louise gave to France for Christmas 1955. 

Here are two other photos of Louise from those years. One probably earlier – 1951? – Before she cut her hair short. 

A portrait of a happy Louise.
Here is Louise’s friend Parisian, Lilyan Chauvin, who was in the film “Silk Stockings” and worked for Charles Boyer, helping him keep his French accent.

Louise wanted to study Fresco in Italy. I wanted to learn a bit more about fresco making and saw these frescos  by Tibaldi in a museum in Montreal. 

Tibaldi Frescos
Announcement of her first book, Suzuki Beane–with fellow author Joan Williams
Louise at Bard
Fabio Rieti draws Louise
Louise and Alixe Gordin
In Bologna, 1956. Louise and Fabio collaborated on a mural.
Fabio’s photos of Louise – top in Bologne, bottom NYC?
Leaflet for “Three Painters”
Poloroids of Louise in NY, 1950, probably taken by Amelia Brent
Ed Thompson
Louise around 1974
The 50th anniversary of Harriet the Spy was  commemorated with a plaque in Carl Schurz park, on Dec 7, 2015. Supported by Empire State Center for the book, Random House Children’s Books and the Carl Schurz park conservancy in Manhattan. This plaque is situated near the water fountains across from the playground.