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Plans for funeral services for Harold Baquet finalized

Loyola press release - June 23, 2015

Celebration of photographer’s life draws on Catholic, New Orleans and family tradition

What: Celebration of the life of Harold Baquet

When: Wednesday, June 24

Where: Holy Name of Jesus Church, 6367 St. Charles Ave.

What time: Visitation begins at 10 a.m. in the church, followed by a Mass of the Resurrection at noon. Following the Mass, guests will process in a traditional second line to a reception for family and friends at Loyola University’s J. Edgar and Louise S. Monroe Library. Interment is private.

Parking: Parking will be available for guests in the West Road Parking Garage, located on West Road, off St. Charles Ave.

Plans for funeral services to celebrate the life of Loyola University photographer Harold Baquet have been finalized. Baquet, who told the Loyola story through his photographs for 25 years, died Thursday, of complications from cancer. He was 56. Baquet is survived by his wife, political consultant Cheron Brylski ‘80, and extended family.

Relatives and friends of the family are invited to attend the funeral service on Wednesday, June 24, 2015 at Holy Name of Jesus Church, 6367 St. Charles Ave.; at noon. Visitation begins at 10 a.m. in the church. Following Mass, guests will participate in a traditional second line to a reception held in Loyola University’s J. Edgar and Louise S. Monroe Library.

A native of the Seventh Ward and Treme, Baquet was a seventh-generation New Orleanian and a proud member of a large and loving Creole family that traces its Louisiana roots to Sainte Domingue in the 1690’s. In a 2007 interview with the New Orleans Review, he detailed his family history and legacy, while shedding light on his work capturing life in New Orleans, in particular African-American life, which he began documenting in the late 1970s as a city photographer under the administrations of former New Orleans Mayors Ernest N. “Dutch” Morial and Sidney Barthelemy.

For 25 years, Baquet captured life at Loyola University, documenting more than 125 graduations, 50 new student and faculty convocations, thousands of classroom scenes, alumni parties and athletic events through more than 300,000 images. Over the years, Baquet gave multiple talks and interviews and presented several photo exhibitions at Loyola. In 2011, he presented his book "In the Blink of an Eye: Photographic Memories of a New Orleans No More," co-written with his wife.

He grew up in a family of craftsmen and musicians, Baquet told The New Orleans Review in 2007, describing his father’s brothers and his grandfather on his father’s side as “architects of jazz.” Baquet’s grandfather, Theogene Baquet, was founder of the Excelsior Brass Band, and his uncles George Baquet and Archile Baquet were “world-travelled musicians,” while his father, Arsene Baquet Sr. was a vocalist.

Those legacies will be honored Wednesday, as The Storyville Stompers lead guests in a traditional second line from the funeral Mass to the reception and repast at Monroe Library. Guests are invited to also see some of Baquet’s work, which can be found on permanent exhibit in the library. Photographs depict a wide range of subjects such as: the funeral of New Orleans Mayor Dutch Morial; Chef Austin Leslie; a street-weary “bag lady;” a family visiting the Martin Luther King Jr. gravesite and memorial and a self-portrait of Baquet in his French Quarter studio.

The family has requested that any donations in Harold Baquet’s name benefit Loyola University New Orleans, Children’s Hospital New Orleans or MD Anderson Hospital in Houston, Texas.

Read more: Loyola University Mourns Harold Baquet