Harold Francis Baquet (July 23, 1958-June 18, 2015; New Orleans, Louisiana) was a photographer and artist who built a career documenting African American political and daily life in his native city. A descendant of seven generations of Creole residents, he grew up surrounded by the artistic, musical and crafts communities of New Orleans.
Harold Baquet is the son of the late Audrey Ganier Nicholas Baquet and Arsene Baquet. He was born at Charity Hospital, the only child in this second marriage for both his parents. His half-brothers and sisters include Velva Nicholas Flot, Albert ‘Blainey’ Nicholas, Arsene Baquet (deceased), Larry Baquet (deceased) and Ruby Baquet (deceased). He grew up in the Seventh Ward, living most of his early years at the corner of North Miro and Havana Streets. He graduated from St. Augustine High School and then served in the U.S. Air Force Reserves. He married Denise White Baquet and had one son, Harold F. Baquet Jr., who died from multiple illnesses at the age of three in 1987. He served as an electrician’s apprentice for IBEW Local until he decided to pursue a career in photography full-time, following in the steps of the Creole photographer Arthur P. Bedou, whom he greatly admired. After a divorce in 1986, Baquet would remain single until 1995, when he married Cheron Brylski. They established a home, business and studio in Uptown New Orleans, which continues to be identified as Maison Baquet, the home of his personal archives. Mr. Baquet’s extensive print, negative and slide collection is now housed at the Historic New Orleans Collection for public use and inspection. Smaller collections remain at Loyola University and the Jazz and Heritage Foundation.