Les Amis de Beauford Delaney and Reid Hall are partnering to bring an exhibition of original Beauford Delaney works to Reid Hall in Paris in February 2016!

To sign-up to receive information about this show, click HERE.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

More Beauford Delaney Portraits

As we continue to organize the February 2016 exhibition of Paris-sourced Beauford Delaney works at Reid Hall, I find myself marveling at the number of donors we have found and the wide variety of paintings from which we will be able to select to mount what will be a major show. The abstract works far outnumber the portraits, but there are several portraits from which to choose.

Seeing these paintings inspired me to go back through the archives of this blog and other online sources to look at images of some of the numerous portraits that Beauford painted during his lifetime. I bring you images of several of them in today's post.

Portrait of a Young Man
(ca. 1937-1940) Color pastel crayons
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

Portrait
(1946) Oil on canvas
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

Portrait of Henri Chahine
(ca. 1960-1969) Oil on canvas
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

No 6 Portrait, JFK
(1966) Pastel
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

Arlan Iverson
(1972) Oil on canvas
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

To see images of Beauford's self-portraits and his portraits of James Baldwin on this blog, click on the links below:

Beauford's Portraits of James Baldwin - Part 1
Beauford's Portraits of James Baldwin - Part 2
You've Got the Eye
Beauford's Self-portrait on the Cover of JAMA

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Les Amis de Beauford Delaney and Reid Hall are partnering to bring an exhibition of original Beauford Delaney works to Reid Hall in Paris in February 2016! To sign-up to receive information about this show, click HERE.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Beauford in Philadelphia: The 1947 Pyramid Club Show


In May, I wrote about my visit to Dr. William A. Dodd's office in Philadelphia and the rich collection of Beauford Delaney memorabilia that he has amassed.

Among them are documents and photos from Beauford's 1947 show at the Pyramid Club in Philadelphia.

Catalog of the 7th Annual
Pyramid Club Exhibition of Painting and Sculpture - Cover
© Discover Paris!

Dr. Dodd connected me to Leslie Willis-Lowry, archivist of the Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection at Temple University Libraries so that I could ask permission to publish the incredibly handsome photos of Beauford and others at the show. I am pleased to present them below:

Dox Thrash (left) and Beauford Delaney (right)
John W. Mosley, photographer
Photo reproduced with permission of the
Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection

From left to right:
Unidentified woman, Henry B. Jones, unidentified woman,
Beauford Delaney, Dox Thrash, Dorothy Warrick, Dante Pavone
John W. Mosley, photographer
Photo reproduced with permission of the
Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection

Dox Thrash (second from left) and Beauford Delaney (far right)
with visitors
John W. Mosley, photographer
Photo reproduced with permission of the
Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection

Beauford's Sleeping Cat on the wall in the dining room
John W. Mosley, photographer
Photo reproduced with permission of the
Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection

Dox Thrash (right) discusses a Beauford Delaney painting
with visitors
John W. Mosley, photographer
Photo reproduced with permission of the
Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection

For more information about the Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection, contact Ms. Willis-Lowry at 215-204-5379.

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Les Amis de Beauford Delaney and Reid Hall are partnering to bring an exhibition of original Beauford Delaney works to Reid Hall in Paris in February 2016! To sign-up to receive information about this show, click HERE.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Beauford's Jazz Club Featured in "Night Vision" Exhibition at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art

Beauford's untitled painting known as Jazz Club has an impressive exhibition and publication history:

Untitled (Jazz Club)
(c.1950) Oil on canvas
28" x 36"
signed lower left: Beauford Delaney
Image courtesy of Michael Rosenfeld Gallery
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

It appears (in black and white) on page 104 of David Leeming's biography of Beauford called Amazing Grace: A Life of Beauford Delaney.

Ann E. Gibson refers to it as she discusses Beauford's use of color when representing people in paintings from his "New York years" in her essay entitled “Gay and Black in Greenwich Village: Beauford Delaney’s Idylls of Integration.” This was published in the catalog for the Beauford Delaney: From New York to Paris exhibition mounted by the Minneapolis Institute of Art. Jazz Club is included as a color figure (Figure 24) on page 24 of the catalog.

The Michael Rosenfeld Gallery exhibited the painting in the RISING UP / UPRISING: Twentieth Century African American Art in New York in the spring of 2014.

And now, Jazz Club (on loan from the Michael Rosenfeld Gallery) is one of the paintings selected for display in the Night Vision: Nocturnes in American Art, 1860-1960 exhibition at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art*:

This is the first major museum survey dedicated to scenes of the night in American art from 1860 to 1960 — an era not yet illuminated by electricity to the beginning of the Space Age. Night Vision: Nocturnes in American Art brings together 90 works in a range of media—including paintings, prints, drawings, and photographs...
-- Bowdoin College Museum of Art

Jazz Club is presented in the Night Visions catalog as Plate 73 on page 127. It comprises the entire back cover of the catalog as well.

This work is mentioned in the press about the exhibition:

  • Bowdoin's own story about the show was picked up by ARTFIX daily.
  • Bangor Daily News' Caf√© des Artistes article leads with a large image of the painting.
  • And Art and Antiques Magazine mentions it and a second painting by Beauford (another untitled work from Beauford's New York years (1944), known as Night Scene) in its write up about the show.

Night Vision: Nocturnes in American Art, 1860-1960 runs through October 18, 2015. For more information about the exhibition, click HERE.

Bowdoin College Museum of Art
9400 College Station
Brunswick ME, 04011
Telephone: 207-725-3275

*The Bowdoin College Museum of Art holds a Beauford Delaney abstract that is not currently on display.

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Les Amis de Beauford Delaney and Reid Hall are partnering to bring an exhibition of original Beauford Delaney works to Reid Hall in Paris in February 2016! To sign-up to receive information about this show, click HERE.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Beauford's Paris: The American Center

During his Paris years, Beauford spent a fair amount of time at the American Center for Students and Artists in Montparnasse.

Known simply as "The American Center," it was founded as an educational/athletic community center in 1931. Its original home was a neoclassical building designed by Welles Bosworth, shown below.

American Center for Students and Artists

During the first thirty odd years of its existence, the Center offered popular language, music, and theater courses and was a frequent meeting place for Americans and French alike. In the 1960s and 1970s, it evolved into an incubator for avant-garde expression.

In one of the essays in the catalog for the Beauford Delaney: From New York to Paris exposition organized by Sue Canterbury at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. describes the ambiance at the Center in 1971 and tells how he was introduced to Beauford by a friend that he met there:

...I discovered that many young black expatriates...congregated at the American Centre, which had provided a space for jazz musicians to jam.

...It was heavenly; so much peace, so much healing, for one who had been so far away from home, and for so very long.

...Inevitably, a friendship or two kindled. And my new friend, an exuberantly open saxophonist, invited me - dragged me - to meet someone he called "Buford."

Two Les Amis blog posts include information about the American Center.

In an homage to Beauford by artist Douglas Petrovic, Douglas recounts the following story:

After an evening of jazz at the American Center, boulevard Raspail, I invited Beauford and several musicians to have a drink at my place. At around 6:30 AM, the musicians and Beauford decided to wake Paris up with a jazz concert. The balcony was long but not wide and they lined up, a trumpetist, a cornet player, Beauford in the middle, a guitarist, and a drummer who played the iron railing of the balcony with [pieces of] wood. That was the first time that I heard Beauford sing with a voice so sweet and admirable that you could only imagine it coming from children singing in Baptist choirs in New Orleans. All the windows of the neighboring buildings opened and everybody applauded despite having been awakened too early. The concert lasted a half-hour or more.

--Douglas de Petrovic

Contributor Colin Gravois tells us that the Mille Colonnes restaurant (where Beauford's commemorative plaque was recently installed) was favored by patrons of the Center:

The restaurant was only a five-minute walk from the American Center on boulevard Raspail, where many of us congregated in the afternoon or early evening, and many of the Center’s denizens eventually found themselves there sometime between 6 and 10 PM nightly.

The American Center remained at the Bosworth building until 1987. The building was demolished to make way for the Fondation Cartier for contemporary art, which moved into a new structure designed by Jean Nouvel in 1994.

For a complete history of the American Center, click HERE.