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, June 23, 2018

Teaching Social Studies Using Beauford's Art

I recently came across a lesson plan for 5th grade students in Knox County Schools* that teaches the Great Migration and the Harlem Renaissance through having students create self-portraits inspired by Beauford's self-portraits.

Students participating in this lesson had been previously introduced to the Harlem Renaissance and Beauford's artwork. In this lesson, they were instructed to use pencils and colored pencils "to create simple self-portraits that show symmetry and personality through exaggerated features....This self-portrait can reflect personality, in the style of Beauford Delaney, by drawing facial features of different sizes and with exaggerated emphasis." The students used colored pencils to "map out" areas in their portraits where they would apply paint in a subsequent lesson.

Here are some examples of Beauford's self-portraiture, which illustrate the exaggerated features that the lesson plan asks the students to emulate.

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

Self-portrait
(1972) Gouache on paper
Collection of David Leeming
© Estate of Beauford Delaney,
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

Auto-portrait
(1965) Oil on canvas
Whitney Museum of American Art
© Estate of Beauford Delaney,
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

This lesson is described as "a cross-curricular art project featuring 5th grade Social Studies standards..." It is a wonderful example of arts integration!

*Knox County Schools is the school district that operates all public schools in Knox County, Tennessee. It is headquartered in Beauford's hometown of Knoxville.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Yellow is for Summer

Beauford's yellow abstractions remind me of the warmth and sunshine of summer.

Today I'm sharing images of several of my favorites in celebration of the season!

Soullis Toucas
(Beauford's gift to Roy Freeman)
Oil on canvas
© Estate of Beauford Delaney,
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

Portrait of Ella Fitzgerald
(1968) Oil on canvas
Permanent collection of the SCAD Museum of Art, Savannah
Gift of Dr. Walter O. and Mrs. Linda J. Evans
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

Composition 16
(1954-56) Oil on canvas
Private Collection
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator
Image courtesy of Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, LLC, New York , NY

Untitled (Rainbow Abstraction)
(1962) Watercolor and gouache on paper
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator
Photo courtesy of Swann Auction Galleries

Untitled
(not dated) Oil on canvas
Signed on rear of painting
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

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

We're going to post on a more relaxed schedule over the next several weeks so we can take some time to rest in anticipation of the fall. Be sure to continue to check in here so you can enjoy the latest articles about Beauford's life and art.

Enjoy your summer vacation!

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Beauford at 1964 "Cloudburst" Show in Paris


From 26 May through 1 June 1964, Beauford participated in a group exhibition at the Galerie internationale d'art contemporain at 253 rue Saint Honoré in Paris' 1st arrondissement.

The show was called Le nuage crève (Cloudburst) and the following artists' works were displayed:

Nasser Assar, Beaufort [sic] Delanay, Compard, Duvillier, Graziani, Laubiès, Lerin.

Julien Alvard wrote the introduction for the show's catalog. Beauford's biographer, David Leeming, reports that Alvard praised Beauford's submission as an "emanation of the sun" in which one finds all seasons but winter...

There were no images included in the catalog and I do not know which painting of Beauford's was exhibited during the show.

But Alvard's description reminded me of the exquisite abstract entitled Scattered Light, which is dated 1964 and owned by the Knoxville Museum of Art.

Scattered Light
(1964) Oil on canvas
36 5/8 X 28 3/4 inches
Knoxville Museum of Art, purchase with funds provided by the Rachael Patterson Young Art Acquisition Reserve, 2015
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire, Court Appointed Administrator

One can easily become mesmerized by gazing at this work, in which you can see almost anything your mind can imagine!

Saturday, May 19, 2018

French "Classes Duo" Student in Search of Beauford in NYC

Simon, one of the French students in the Classes Duo Paris / Knoxville project, recently visited New York City with his family. One of the family's goals was to view as many Beauford Delaney works as possible.

Juliette Blache, the project coordinator in Paris, received an e-mail from Simon's mother with the following photo attached:

Simon and Composition 16 at MoMA
Image courtesy of Simon's mother

The message revealed that the family had just visited MoMA and that Simon was excited to stand next to an original Beauford Delaney abstract.

The family had visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art and learned that the Met's Beauford Delaney work is not currently on display. They had also planned to visit the Studio Museum of Harlem, but learned that the museum is undergoing renovation.

Blache immediately contacted me to share the photo and said Simon's mother wanted me to recommend other places where they could view Beauford's work. I told them about the five works held by the Whitney Museum of American Art and suggested that they go to the Michael Rosenfeld Gallery (MRG) as well.

Simon and his family did visit the gallery and they had a wonderful experience there. Simon and his mom shared the information below:

Simon and MRG Senior Associate Zachary Ross "swapped stories" about Beauford - with Simon sharing many of the things he has learned about Beauford through Classes Duo. As an example, he told Ross that Beauford modeled with Tennessee red clay when he was a child. Ross told Simon that he / she was aware of this and shared that Beauford lived on rue Vercingétorix (a street that is very near Simon's school) in Paris.

Ross invited Simon and his family to go "behind the scenes" to visit the area where many of Beauford's paintings are stored. Simon reported that they saw a portrait, a "painting of a man and a woman," and two abstract paintings, one of which is an "enormous" yellow painting found in the Liquid Light: Paris Abstractions catalog from the exhibition of the same name organized by MRG in 1999.

Liquid Light catalog cover
Image courtesy of Simon's mother

Image of yellow abstract painting in Liquid Light catalog
Image courtesy of Simon's mother

Simon said that Ross explained that "Beauford looked out his window to paint what he saw, but 'in abstract.'"

Simon's mother has exchanged e-mails with Ross and has given him the link for the Classes Duo timeline so everyone at MRG can follow the project's progress. Ross has shared the link for the timeline with everyone at the gallery and is excited that Beauford has so many young fans!

Last week, Simon proudly returned to school bearing a copy of the Liquid Light catalog, which Ross graciously offered to Simon. The children at Jean Zay Elementary Public School now have the Resonance of Form and Liquid Light catalogs to use for inspiration when they create art during the Classes Duo project.