Les Amis de Beauford Delaney is partnering with the Wells International Foundation (WIF) to take the Beauford Delaney: Resonance of Form and Vibration of Color exhibition to the U.S.!

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(All or part of your gift through WIF may qualify as a charitable deductible in the U.S.)

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Beauford Unites Elementary School Students in Paris and Knoxville

One of the projects that has emerged from the Beauford Delaney: Resonance of Form and Vibration of Color exhibition is an amazing collaboration called Classes Duo Paris/Knoxville.

Through a partnership between the Wells International Foundation (WIF) and the City of Paris' CASPE* administrative service, it connects two schools - Jean Zay Elementary School in Paris and Nature's Way Montessori School in Knoxville, TN - through Beauford's life and art.

On November 20, WIF held the first teleconference for the educators and administrators who will create the lesson plans and handle the logistics of running the program. The students will interact through video conferences and will work on art projects between conferences. They will share their works during the video conferences and on one or more online platforms.

Fourteen (14) students from Jean Zay have been selected to participate in the program. These children are already being inspired by Beauford's paintings to create their own portraits and abstracts.

Jean Zay Elementary School in Paris
© Wells International Foundation

The selection process for the fourteen (14) students from Nature’s Way is underway.

Nature's Way Montessori School in Knoxville
Photos courtesy of Nature's Way Montessori School

The educators from both sides of the Atlantic have submitted lesson plans that encompass drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, and written correspondence.

Themes to be addressed include places Beauford lived in Paris and Knoxville, several artistic styles that inspired his works, places he traveled and the modes of transportation he used, self-portraiture, and the U.S. Civil Rights Movement.

For the latter, students from both schools will view images of Beauford's Rosa Parks series of paintings and learn how Beauford followed the movement from Paris.

Rosa Parks
(1967) oil on canvas
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator
Image courtesy of Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, LLC, New York, NY

They will also learn about key figures in the movement, such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks. Paris students will be able to visit the Rosa Parks recreation center, the Rosa Parks regional train station, and the Martin Luther King, Jr. park that are located in Paris.

Espace sportif Rosa Parks
© Discover Paris!

Rosa Parks Station - RER E
© Discover Paris!

Parc Clichy Batignolles - Martin Luther King
© Discover Paris!

Jean Zay Elementary School is literally a five-minute walk from what used to be 53, rue Vercingétorix - the location of Beauford's last studio. The students have already been inspired by the proximity of a place so important to the artist they are studying.

The building in which Beauford's studio was located has long since been destroyed. A small plaza has taken its place.

Rue Vercingétorix
© Discover Paris!

In keeping with WIF’s strategy to incorporate as many of its Strategic Focus Areas (SFAs) as possible in its programs and activities, several Classe Duo lessons will encourage the students not only to engage in artistic activities (The Arts), but also to think about science and math (STEAM Education). WIF's Literacy SFA will be incorporated through the letters that the children will write to each other.

To incorporate its Travel/Study Abroad SFA, WIF is planning a travel component through which Knoxville students can visit Paris and Paris students can visit to meet their video/pen pals and see the places where Beauford lived and worked.

For many - if not most - of these children, this will represent their first trip abroad.

The first video conference is scheduled for January 12, 2018.

Watch this blog for updates on how the program progresses!

*CASPE - Circonscription des Affaires Scolaires et de la Petite Enfance

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Beauford at the Indianapolis Museum of Art (Newfields)

When Professor Bob Brubaker of Eastern Kentucky University came across this Beauford Delaney abstract at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, he shared this image of it with me:

Untitled (Abstraction I)
(ca. 1960) Oil on prepared fabric
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator


The information card displayed with this work describes it as follows:

Pink, red, green, and blue brushstrokes speckle the surface of this painting, with yellow—Beauford Delaney’s signature color—the most visible and topmost layer. The textured canvas, defined by its thick impasto paint, appears to swim in every direction with resounding dynamism and energy.

I was excited to learn that another Midwestern museum is showing Beauford’s work (the Art Institute of Chicago has a stunning self-portrait on permanent display) and contacted the Indianapolis Museum of Art to request details about this and any other Beauford Delaney works they may have.

To date, I have not received a reply.

Professor Brubaker pointed out that the information card for the abstract indicates that the painting is part of the Thompson Collection. Larry D. and Brenda A. Thompson own one of the largest and most prestigious collections of African-American art in the world.

Les Amis has presented information in this blog about two additional Beauford Delaney paintings in the Thompson collection:

Distant Horizons

Distant Horizons
(1952) Oil on canvas
16 x 20 inches
Larry and Brenda Thompson Collection
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

and

Portrait of Imogene Delaney

Portrait of Imogene Delaney
(1963) Oil on canvas
38 ½ x 31 inches
Georgia Museum of Art, University of Georgia
The Larry D. and Brenda A. Thompson
Collection of African American Art
GMOA 2011.584
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

Les Amis will publish a follow-up to this post when we obtain sufficient information from the Indianapolis Museum of Art (now rebranded as Newfields, a name that covers the museum, its gardens and the Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park and Lilly House.)

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Beauford's Seated Portrait Paintings

Beauford portrayed many of the subjects of his portraits seated. The angles at which he directs their gaze and positions their bodies, as well as the way in which he depicts their hands, are interesting to compare.

Here are several examples of his seated portrait paintings.

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

Portrait of Tilley S. Speyer
(1968) Oil on canvas
Carnegie Museum of Art
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

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

Portrait of Ahmed Bioud
(1964) Oil on canvas
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

Portrait of Imogene Delaney
(1963) Oil on canvas
Georgia Museum of Art, University of Georgia
The Larry D. and Brenda A. Thompson Collection
of African American Art
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

Portrait of Burt Reinfrank
(1968) Oil on canvas
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

Portrait of Irene Rose
(1944) Oil on board
45 1/2 in x 35 in
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator
Photo courtesy of ACA Galleries, New York

Dark Rapture (James Baldwin)
(1941) Oil on board
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

Portrait of a Man in Green (Colin Gravois)
(undated) Oil on canvas
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

James Baldwin
(1955) Oil on canvas board
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

Portrait of Vassili Pikoula
(1970) Oil on canvas
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Wishing You a Lovely Thanksgiving Weekend!

Les Amis is enjoying the Thanksgiving Day weekend and hope you're doing the same!

We'll be back next week with another anecdote about Beauford's life or a write-up about his art.

Until then, enjoy looking at this beautiful work from the Resonance of Form and Vibration of Color exhibition that is replete with fall colors.

Untitled
(1970) Mixed media on cardboard
Private collection
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

Have a lovely weekend!