CONTACT PERSON: VALERIE WILLARD
PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER
| MARCH 12, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The justices of the Louisiana Supreme Court joined members of the Supreme Court of Louisiana Historical Society to honor and celebrate the judicial career of Chief Justice Catherine D. “Kitty” Kimball. Members of the Kimball family were in attendance for the courtroom ceremony which was highlighted by the unveiling of a portrait of the justice. Also in attendance for the unveiling was the portrait artist Michael Deas. The portrait, commissioned by the Historical Society, will take its place among the permanent exhibit of portraits of Supreme Court Chief Justices displayed in the Louisiana Supreme Court Museum located in the Royal Street courthouse.
The Historical Society was founded in 1992 to preserve the history of the Louisiana Supreme Court and its influence on the development of Civil Law; and to research, publish, and create items and materials of historical interest regarding the Court.
On behalf of the Historical Society, remarks were provided by the Historical Society Board President, attorney Donna D. Fraiche, “The Historical Society is proud to present this vivid portrait by Michael Deas to the Supreme Court. We considered several artists to paint the portrait of Chief Justice Kimball, the first female elected to the Supreme Court bench in 1992 who became the first female Supreme Court Chief Justice in 2009, and chose one of the nation’s premier portrait artists, as well as being a local French Quarter resident, Michael Deas.“
Deas’ paintings of Theodore Roosevelt, Mark Twain, Franklin Roosevelt, and Thomas Jefferson have graced four covers of Time magazine. He has also painted over 20 postage stamps, including likenesses of Lewis & Clark, Ronald Reagan, Marilyn Monroe, and James Dean to name a few. His Columbia Pictures logo of “Torch Lady” remains one of the most familiar icons in cinema history.
According to Deas, “Chief Justice Kimball was utterly delightful to work with. As a sitter, she was both obliging and charismatic, good-natured and possessing an irresistible smile — a portrait painter’s dream come true.”
This year marks Chief Justice Kimball’s 29th year as a member of the Louisiana judiciary, having served on the 18th Judicial District Court for nine years before joining the Supreme Court where she has served the remaining 20 years. She suffered an ischemic stroke in January 2010 and returned in good health to hear oral arguments by December of that same year. She has been married to Clyde Kimball for over 40 years and they have 3 children and 6 grandchildren. Chief Justice Kimball has a lot to smile about.
Current board members of the Supreme Court of Louisiana Historical Society are: Donna D. Fraiche; Judge Marc Amy; Professor Paul R. Baier; Benjamin West Janke; Louis Curet; Jimmie Thorns, Jr.; Robert Pugh, Jr.; Cynthia Dupree; Donald Bollinger; Judge James Dennis; Edward “Ned” Diefenthal; Chancellor Jack Weiss; Dean Maria Pabon Lopez; Chancellor Freddie Pitcher, Jr.; Dean David D. Meyer; James Davidson, III; and Mathile W. Abramson.
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