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!

TO MAKE A DONATION, CLICK HERE.


Saturday, November 30, 2019

Beauford's Thanksgiving - 1966

In Amazing Grace: A Life of Beauford Delaney, biographer David Leeming reports that James Baldwin came to Paris to spend Thanksgiving with Beauford in 1966. Beauford was living at his rue Vercingétorix studio at the time, and this is where Baldwin would have visited him.

Beauford painted two portraits of Baldwin in 1966, both of which he began during his stay with his dear friend in Istanbul that summer. He completed the one shown below at the Vercingétorix studio.

James Baldwin
(1966) Oil on canvas
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

Les Amis hopes you're spending this Thanksgiving weekend with loved ones, be they family or friends!

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Beauford-inspired Art Lessons

Since January 2018, the Classes Duo Paris/Knoxville program has brought 7- to 10-year-old students at Jean Zay Elementary School in Paris, France and Nature's Way Montessori School in Knoxville, Tennessee together to learn each other's language and explore each other's culture through the lens of Beauford's life and work.

In the process, the students from both schools have created an amazing body of artwork. Several pieces have been publicly displayed in exhibitions in Paris and Knoxville:

Classes Duo Paris / Knoxville - Knoxville students' excursion to Paris a HUGE success! - Part 1

Jean Zay works inspired by untitled abstract
© Wells International Foundation


Student-Parent Reception for Classes Duo Art Exhibition at KMA


Nature's Way student portraits of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Image courtesy of Mary Campbell

Les Amis de Beauford Delaney is not the only organization that uses Beauford's œuvre as an educational tool. Individual teachers, school districts, philanthropic organizations, and prestigious art institutions have included his work in exercises and programs for educators and students for more than two decades.

In 2018, I found a lesson plan for 5th graders published online by Knox County Schools entitled "The Harlem Renaissance - Beauford Delaney Self-portraits." Teachers using this lesson plan were instructed to have their students "use pencils and colored pencils to create simple self portraits that show symmetry and personality through exaggerated features.

In 2017, the Knoxville, TN chapter of The Links, Incorporated organized and implemented a pilot project to introduce Beauford's art to a local public elementary school:

Beauford's Art Inspires Knoxville Elementary School Students

Arts Night display wall
Image courtesy of The Links Incorporated, Knoxville Chapter

The artwork of participating students was shown at the Knoxville Museum of Art:

"Bringing Delaney Home" at the Knoxville Museum of Art

In 2014, I published a blog post about a crossword puzzle created by Alicia L. McDaniel to introduce 6th to 11th grade students to Beauford's work:

Beauford Delaney Crossword Puzzle


In 2013, the Studio Museum in Harlem hosted a Teaching and Learning Workshop for K-12 Educators that focused on experimental painting techniques. Educators were invited to the museum to "enjoy a fun, inspiring gallery tour" to "... discuss works of art with colleagues, create artwork in a hands-on workshop, and discover strategies for implementation in the classroom." They created work "inspired by Brothers and Sisters, an exhibition that examines a selection of abstract paintings by Beauford Delaney and artists in the museum's permanent collection."

In 1993, an article entitled "Four Self-Portraits" by Esther E. Grisham was published in Art Education. At the time, Grisham was the Teacher Workshop Coordinator for the Department of Museum Education at the Art Institute of Chicago. Beauford's 1944 self-portrait is on permanent display at this museum.

Self-portrait
(1944) Oil on canvas
Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
By permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

Grisham asks the following questions in her article (among others):

"What kind of expression is Delaney making in this self-portrait?"

"How do the colors and lines help to describe the artist' mood?"

She goes on to suggest three classroom activities for teachers:

A. Ask students to make a list of as many adjectives that they can think of to describe themselves.

B. Using words from their lists instead of lines, have students create a self-portrait concentrating on outlines.

C. Make outlines of students' bodies on plain paper and have students fill in their outlines with words from their lists...

She also invites teachers to ask their students to compare Beauford's self-portrait to that of Vincent Van Gogh.


Les Amis de Beauford Delaney and the Wells International Foundation continue to pursue and share information about opportunities to educate and inspire educators and students through Beauford's art. If you know of projects or programs that do so, send details to me by e-mail at .



Saturday, November 16, 2019

All That Jazz

Last week's post on "Beauford at the 'L'Age du Jazz' exhibition" inspired me to look at all the works published on this blog that have the word "jazz" in the title. I have regrouped them below. Enjoy!

Jazz Quartet
(1946) Oil on canvas
Image courtesy of Burt and Patricia Reinfrank
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

Jazz concert in the old synagogue, Lower East Side, New York
(ca. 1946) Oil on canvas
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

Untitled (Jazz Club)
(c.1950) Oil on canvas
Image courtesy of Michael Rosenfeld Gallery
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

Jazz Band
(1965) Oil on canvas
© Estate of Beauford Delaney,
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

Jazz
(1966) Oil on canvas
French Embassy of Taipai, Taiwan
© Estate of Beauford Delaney,
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator
Photo courtesy of France's Fonds national d'art contemporain


Saturday, November 9, 2019

Beauford at the 1967 "L'Age du Jazz" exhibition

In Amazing Grace: A Life of Beauford Delaney, biographer David Leeming reports that "In November the Ministry of Cultural Affairs in France bought a Delaney painting entitled Jazz from 'L'Age du Jazz' exhibition."

Jazz
(1966) Oil on canvas
French Embassy of Taipai, Taiwan
© Estate of Beauford Delaney,
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator
Photo courtesy of France's Fonds national d'art contemporain

This show was held at the Palais Galliera, which is also known as the Musée de la Mode de la Ville de Paris. It ran from April 29 to May 24, 1967.

Palais Galliera
Image in the public domain

I was fortunate to find the catalog for the exhibition at the Centre Pompidou's Kandinsky library, but was disappointed to see that it is a small publication and that with the exception of the cover, it is printed in black and white.

Catalog cover for L'Age du Jazz exhibition
© Discover Paris!

The names of the artists whose works were shown at the exhibition are printed in alphabetical order and I quickly found the page where names beginning with the letter "D" were printed. Beauford is not mentioned on this page.

I found his name on the last page of the catalog, under the header "Addendum." It gives Beauford's information as follows:

BEAUFORD-DELANEY
né en 1910 [sic] à Knoxville, Tennessee chanteur de blues [sic]
Portrait. huile sur toile 1965

The entry does not include a photo of the work he contributed.

Despite the errors in Beauford's listing, the description of the work (blues singer, portrait, 1965 oil on canvas) is evocative of Beauford's portrait of Marian Anderson, which is now part of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts' permanent collection.

Marian Anderson
(1965) Oil on canvas
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
J. Harwood and Louise B. Cochrane Fund for American Art
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

A second listing under "Addendum" in the catalog attributes Jazz to another artist.

Interestingly, a dossier compiled in 2010 by the Fonds national d'art contemporain on Beauford Delaney works owned by the French government mentions "Portrait of Marian Anderson" as though it might be part of the title ofJazz, but only presents an image and details for Jazz.

Given this tangled web of circumstances, it is tempting to speculate that Beauford's Portrait of Marian Anderson was shown at the Palais Galliera during l'Age du Jazz!