Gladys-Marie Fry (1931-2015)
Wednesday, November 18, 2015
Posted by: Shannon K. Larson
Gladys-Marie Fry – folklorist and African American textiles scholar – passed away November 7, 2015. The following remembrance was written by Erika Brady (Western Kentucky University):
Dr. Fry was born in the Freedman’s Hospital on the campus of Howard University, where her father was on the faculty. Her degrees in history and folklore were earned from Howard. She was a Ph.D. graduate of the Folklore Institute at Indiana University, where her dissertation provided the basis for her seminal book Night Riders in Black Folk History (1975), notable for its groundbreaking use of oral tradition in elucidating a dark passage of post-Civil War history. More recently, her work in the area of African-American textiles, especially quilts, brought her international recognition. In addition to important books and articles, her many exhibits at such institutions as the Renwick Gallery, the Smithsonian Institution, and the Eva and Morris Feld Gallery of the Museum of Folk Art at Lincoln Square took her work to a wide general audience.
She was an active member of the Association of African and African-American Folklorists. Gladys-Marie Fry retired in 2000 as Professor Emerita from the University of Maryland, where in the course of her teaching career, she influenced a generation of young folklorists. Her presence among us will be deeply missed.
Visitation information and details on how to make a donation in Dr. Fry’s memory can be found on the website of the McGuire Funeral Home, Washington, D.C.: http://www.mcguire-services.com/obits/obituary.php?id=578541.