Les Amis de Beauford Delaney is supporting the completion of

BEAUFORD DELANEY: SO SPLENDID A JOURNEY,

the first full-length documentary about Beauford.


Join us in making this video tribute to Beauford a reality!

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Saturday, May 8, 2021

Beauford Delaney Research Grant - Part 2

Beauford Delaney
1953 - Carl Van Vechten

Last week, I posted Part 1 of my interview with France Nerlich, Director of Studies and Research Department at the Institut national d'histoire de l'art (INHA). INHA is one of the collaborative partners for the new Beauford Delaney Research Grant - the Bourse Beauford Delaney - that was announced to the world on April 21, 2021.

The grant funds travel and other expenses related to research projects on African-American art undertaken by France-based academics and scholars. The awardee can travel to the United States to work in archives, museums, libraries and possibly to meet with artists.

Here's Part 2 of the interview.

Les Amis: Was Beauford Delaney the only artist whose name was considered for the grant?

FN:As Eric de Chassey is a scholar whose specialty is post-WWII US art, Delaney's name naturally came to his mind while we were thinking of the name we would like to give to the grant.

Les Amis: What knowledge or experience does the team that conceived of the grant have regarding Beauford's work?

FN: Though de Chassey hadn't written much on Delaney, he had seen many of Delaney's works in U.S. museums, galleries and private collections. He knew the Delaney bibliography, had spent time speaking about him with Sue Canterbury when she was preparing her exhibition for the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. He deeply admires the artist, who still deserves to be better known - especially in France, where he chose to live. As the personality and work of Beauford Delaney seem to perfectly represent/encapsulate the aim of the grant, the team accepted de Chassey's proposal with enthusiasm.

Les Amis: How was the jury selected?

FN: For the composition of the jury, we wanted to solicit French and American experts, including specialists in African-American art. The INHA team and the Cultural Services team made several proposals for members. We chose according to the candidates' approaches and fields to guarantee a true diversity of views within the jury.

We are very grateful to our two qualified personalities for agreeing, almost at the drop of a hat, to join our jury, Anne Lafont, professor at the Ecole des hautes études en sciences sociales (Paris) and Richard J. Powell, John Spencer Bassett Distinguished Professor of Art and Art History at Duke University.

Now, we are all very much looking forward to reading the applications and to announce the winner in early June in conjunction with a special occasion -- the 10th edition of our international Festival de l’histoire de l’art (Art History Festival) that takes places yearly in Fontainebleau!

Announcements about the Beauford Delaney Research Grant are posted online in English and in French.

Saturday, May 1, 2021

Beauford Delaney Research Grant - Part 1

Beauford Delaney
1953 - Carl Van Vechten

 

I learned about the Beauford Delaney Research Grant - the Bourse Beauford Delaney - on April 21, 2021.

Announcements about this $20,000 award are posted online in English and in French.

The grant funds travel and other expenses related to research projects on African-American art undertaken by France-based academics and scholars. The awardee can travel to the United States to work in archives, museums, libraries and possibly to meet with artists.

While Beauford's name is attached to the grant, the awardee is not obligated to research his work.

The 2021 award is intended for postdoctoral researchers, while the 2022 award will be offered to master's- and doctorate-level researchers in training. In all cases, it is expected that the fellowship will produce a tangible result such as a book, article, conference, or exhibit. These results will be made available to the public, enriching the field of art history and heightening the profile of work by African-American artists.

A few days ago, I received a thoughtful email from France Nerlich, Director of Studies and Research Department at the Institut national d'histoire de l'art (INHA). (INHA is one of the collaborative partners for the grant.) Nerwith wanted to inform me about the grant because of the work Les Amis does to increase awareness of Beauford's legacy. She kindly consented to grant me an interview, the first part of which I'm sharing below.

Les Amis: Please describe the "broader initiative to promote African-American artists in France" of which the Beauford Delaney research grant is a part.

FN: Thanks to the support of the Ford Foundation, the Étant donnés Contemporary Art program* launched a new initiative in 2018 to promote the visibility of African-American artists in France via exhibitions, residencies, and research trips. The initiative aimed to foster dialogue between French and American art and culture professionals around the contemporary African-American art scene. Twelve French curators and institutional directors were invited to visit New York and Chicago for an exploratory trip to learn more about this art scene via studio visits and meetings with professionals, with the goal of bringing exhibitions of contemporary work by African-American artists to major French institutions and inviting African American to become artists in residence at French institutions. 

Five projects have resulted from this initial exchange trip so far, including in-person and online exhibitions as well as residencies. More is to come.

Les Amis: How long did it take for the project to come to fruition?

FN: In 2020, the above mentioned initiative was expanded to promote art historical scholarship in France on work by African American artists. This proposal immediately met with the approval of INHA director Eric de Chassey in Paris, who has supported decentralized, inclusive, and resolutely transnational art history since his arrival at the institute in 2016.

Since its creation in the early 2000s, INHA has proposed fundamental support for a globalized approach to art history that is attentive to the societal stakes of art history and to the epistemological stakes of a discipline that pays attention to questions of representation and constructions of identity. Since 2016, in-depth reflections have been undertaken to put the structuring categories within the institution into perspective and to open them up completely to a non-Eurocentric art history.

Les Amis: Whose idea was it to create this grant?

FN: The project for this fellowship began to be discussed during the fall of 2020. The initiative came from Gaëtan Bruel, Cultural Counselor at the French Embassy in the United States, and Anne-Claire Duprat, who leads the construction of all the actions with the Ford Foundation within the “Etant donnés” program.

Come back to the blog next week to read Part 2 of this interview.

*Étant donnés Contemporary Art is a program operated by Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the U.S. in partnership with FACE Foundation (French American Cultural Exchange). It aims to strengthen ties between France and the U.S. in the field of contemporary art by fostering active collaboration and encouraging long-lasting partnerships between French visual artists, curators, and collectives and American curators and cultural institutions.

In the past 27 years, Étant donnés has developed an international reputation by allocating over $3 million to fund more than 300 projects and 30 curators. The program funds grants to American nonprofit institutions to organize exhibitions featuring French artists, curatorial fellowships assisting American curators, and a residency program supporting French artists seeking to develop specific projects with American partners.

Saturday, April 24, 2021

Results of April 2021 Swann Auction Galleries African American Art Sale

Swann Auction Galleries auctioned two of Beauford's works at its April 22, 2021 African American Art Sale.

Untitled (African Figure) sold for $125,000, including buyer's premium*.



Untitled (African Figure)
(1968) Oil on cotton canvas
610x502 mm; 24x19 3/4 inches
Signed and dated in oil, lower left
Image courtesy of Swann Auction Galleries
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator


Untitled (Tent Interior) sold for $137,000 (including buyer's premium), far exceeding the estimated sale price of $30,000 to $40,000. 

 
See an image of it here: Untitled (Tent Interior) 
 

For more information about the April 22, 2021 African American Art auction, click HERE.

*The buyer's premium is 25% of the hammer price, up to and including $100,000; 20% of the hammer price above $100,000 up to and including $1,000,000; 12% of the hammer price after $1,000,000.

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Two Beauford Delaney Works at Swann Auction Galleries' African Art Sale

Swann Auction Galleries' upcoming African American Art Sale is being held on April 22, 2021. Two Beauford Delaney paintings are now available for purchase.

Untitled (African Figure) was created when Beauford lived at his rue Vercingétorix studio. It comes from the original collection of James and Gloria Joyce, whom James Baldwin introduced to Beauford in July 1958. The Joyces would go on to commission several paintings from Beauford, including a portrait of James Joyce.



Untitled (African Figure)
(1968) Oil on cotton canvas
610x502 mm; 24x19 3/4 inches
Signed and dated in oil, lower left
Image courtesy of Swann Auction Galleries
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator


The estimated sale price of this work, which has been assigned Lot Number 67, is $120,000 - $180,000. 

The mirror image of Untitled (African Figure), a multi-hued oil monoprint on paper, was displayed by the Knoxville Museum of Art during its Through the Unusual Door exhibition in 2020.

Untitled (African Figure)
(circa 1968) Oil monoprint on paper
Knoxville Museum of Art, 2018 Beauford Delaney Purchase
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator
Photo © Les Amis de Beauford Delaney
 
The other Beauford Delaney work being auctioned in April is a pastel on paper, dated 1951. Assigned Lot No. 101, its estimated sale price is $30,000 to $40,000. 
 
See an image of it here: Untitled (Tent Interior) 
 
The description of this work in Swann's online catalog indicates that Beauford's pastels are seldom seen at auction. 

For more information about the April 22, 2021 African American Art auction, click HERE.