Saturday, April 12, 2014

Beauford at New York Live Arts Festival

Two quintessential paintings by Beauford will be displayed on April 24, 2014 in conjunction with a panel discussion on James Baldwin at the upcoming New York Live Arts Festival.

Portrait of James Baldwin
Oil on canvas
25.5 x 21.25 inches
Signed and dated lower left
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

Two Women on a Bench
Oil on canvas
21.25 x 25 inches
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

The 1965 Portrait of James Baldwin is one of several portraits* that Beauford painted of Baldwin. Two Women on a Bench is a painting from Beauford's Rosa Parks Series.

Following are the details about the event:

"Baldwin & Delaney"

Apr 24 at 2pm
New York Live Arts Theater

Rachel Cohen, whose critically acclaimed A Chance Meeting braids a sequence of seminal encounters across American cultural history, including Baldwin’s with both Richard Avedon and Norman Mailer, will read from a third chapter, focusing on the young writer’s life-transforming encounter with the sublime painter Beauford Delaney, at the latter’s Greenwich Village apartment. Following her reading, Cohen will engage Diedra Harris-Kelley, Co-Director of the Romare Bearden Foundation and Baldwin and Delaney biographer David Leeming, in a conversation about Delaney’s enduring importance in Baldwin’s life.

To purchase tickets for this event, click here.

*For more information on Beauford's portraits of James Baldwin, click on the links below:

Beauford's Portraits of James Baldwin - Part 1
Beauford's Portraits of James Baldwin - Part 2

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Visiting Thiais Cemetery - Part 2

Last week, I reported on the new tramway that runs past Thiais Cemetery, making it easier than ever to visit Beauford's final resting place.

This week, I am sharing photos of the cemetery that I took in late March. They capture some of the foliage and flora that reflect the arrival of spring.

This is the conservation office, where cemetery records are held.

Conservation Office
© Discover Paris!

Division 17 is one of two military divisions at the cemetery. In one corner, there is an area devoted to Muslims who gave their lives for France.

Division 17 - entrance
© Discover Paris!

Division 17 - Christian and Jewish graves
© Discover Paris!

Muslim graves
© Discover Paris!

Muslim tombstone
© Discover Paris!

Some divisions have beautiful flowering trees and bushes.

Division 49
© Discover Paris!

Division 56
© Discover Paris!

Many have patches of wildflowers that make a lovely, colorful carpet among the graves.

© Discover Paris!

In Division 94, the Jardin de Souvenir is where the ashes of two African-American friends of Beauford - Larry Potter and Leroy Haynes - were scattered after their concessions at Thiais Cemetery and Père Lachaise Cemetery, respectively, were not renewed. Larry Potter was an abstract artist. Leroy Haynes was a restaurant owner, boxer, and actor.

Jardin de Souvenir
© Discover Paris!

In Division 86, where Beauford is buried, this tomb is overlain with an explosion of yellow daffodils. It is only a stone's throw from Beauford's gravesite.

Daffodils covering a grave
© Discover Paris!

As yellow was Beauford's favorite color, I am sure that he would have loved to see this!

Beauford's tombstone is as pristine today as it was when it was laid in 2010.

Beauford's tombstone - March 2014
© Discover Paris!

The cemetery is an oasis of calm. Though it takes planning to come here, the effort is well worth it!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Visiting Thiais Cemetery - Part 1

I visited Thiais Cemetery last week, just a few days before the 35th anniversary of Beauford's death.

A new tramway (T7) now runs past the cemetery, making the trip from central Paris faster, easier, and more pleasant than ever before. I documented the route to encourage those of you who would like to make the trip but are hesitant to do so because the cemetery is located outside the Paris city limits.

The route is simple. Take metro line 7, direction Villejuif, to the end of the line.

Metro stops indicated on panel above door on metro Line 7
© Discover Paris!

Follow the signs to the sortie (exit) for avenue de Stalingrad.

Sign on quay indicating avenue de Stalingrad exit
© Discover Paris!

Sign indicating avenue de Stalingrad exit
© Discover Paris!

Close-up of sign indicating avenue de Stalingrad exit
© Discover Paris!

Take the escalator to leave the station.

Escalator to avenue de Stalingrad exit
© Discover Paris!

The tram runs directly in front of the metro station. The shelter is located across the track and slightly to the left. Walk across the track (being careful to look for traffic before you cross) to board the tram. Take the train going in the direction of Athis Mons...

and exit at the stop called Auguste Perret.

Tram stops indicated on panel above door on T7
© Discover Paris!

Panel indicating next tram stop on ceiling of T7
© Discover Paris!

The cemetery is behind a cement wall across the busy route de Fontainebleau.

Cemetery beyond route de Fontainebleau
© Discover Paris!

Next week, I'll share photos of the cemetery itself.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Beauford's Gravesite on Thiais Cemetery "Celebrity" List

As a follow-up to the letter that Les Amis de Beauford Delaney received in July 2013, indicating that Beauford's grave would be preserved in perpetuity by the City of Paris at Thiais Cemetery, we have received the recently revised map of the cemetery. Beauford's gravesite is cited on the list of "most visited" graves. It's actually the first site noted on the list!

Map of Thiais Cemetery and list of most visited graves

Beauford’s grave is located in Division 86. It is in the second row, Tomb number 45.

Les Amis once again acknowledges Mme Marilyn Pin, deputy director of the cemetery, for her efforts in making this happen. Thanks to her, Beauford's grave will remain intact at Thiais Cemetery unless members of his family deem otherwise.

To read more about the cemetery, click HERE.