Frances Christian “The Purple Lady” Brand

Photo added by A. L. Parrish

Frances Christian “The Purple Lady” Brand

  • Birth 7 Feb 1901
  • Death 19 Nov 1990 Charlottesville, Charlottesville City, Virginia, USA
  • Burial Unknown
  • Memorial ID 41691096

Frances Christian Brand



A traveler from the time of her birth in 1901, Frances Christian Brand developed an appreciation for this world's peoples and cultures at an early age. She understood that celebrating the differences between cultures reveals the unity of the human family. Her ability to love each person as a human being guided her vision of equality for every member of this family.

With a military upbringing, marriage and career of her own, she took advantage of ample opportunities to travel around the world. She collected works by ethnic artisans that reverberate the colors, textures, forms and symbols of their cultures. After retiring from the Army as a Major and obtaining a degree in Art from Mexico City College, she settled in Charlottesville in the late 1950's. She was a colorful resident, always wearing purple.

In her home on Washington Avenue, she promoted unity and equality. She was a strong advocate for Civil Rights, becoming secretary of the NAACP. She believed in equal rights and was a member of NOW, AAUW and supported the Equal Rights Amendment. She shared her collection of world art with the citizens of Charlottesville. She created her series of Mexican life studies, and celebrated motherhood with a series of "Modern Madonnas". Her "Gallery of Firsts" is comprised of portraits of individuals from the Charlottesville area who have traveled through the barriers of difference-toward a place of unity through equality. The portraits presented here are selections from the "firsts".



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  • Created by: A. L. Parrish
  • Added: 7 Sep 2009
  • Find A Grave Memorial 41691096
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Frances Christian “The Purple Lady” Brand (7 Feb 1901–19 Nov 1990), Find A Grave Memorial no. 41691096, ; Maintained by A. L. Parrish (contributor 46498466) Unknown.