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.!

We value your support!

TO MAKE A DONATION, CLICK HERE.
(All or part of your gift through WIF may qualify as a charitable deductible in the U.S.)

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Beauford's Portrait of Irene Rose

Beauford's magnificent portrait of his friend Irene Rose is one of works being shown at the ACA Galleries exhibition On Such a Night as This.

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

The exhibition takes its name from Romare Bearden's 1975 collage on board, which is displayed in the show. Other artists whose works are displayed include John Biggers, Elizabeth Catlett, Loïs Mailou Jones, Jacob Lawrence, Edmonia Lewis, Norman Lewis, Henry O. Tanner, and Hale Woodruff.

Irene and Billy Rose were friends of Beauford from Philadelphia, introduced to him by Dorothy Gates. They would maintain a lifelong friendship. With Gates, Irene drove Beauford to Saratoga for his 1950 fellowship stay at Yaddo. She visited him in Paris in 1955, when he lived at the Hôtel des Ecoles. Billy Rose gave Beauford the raincoat that Beauford turned into canvas in 1954.

Portrait of Irene Rose is currently held in a private collection. It is displayed in ACA Galleries' viewing room during the exhibition.

Originally scheduled to run from November 10 - December 22, 2016, On Such a Night as This has been extended through January 28, 2017.

ACA Galleries
529 West 20th Street
New York, NY 10011
Telephone: 212-206-8080
e-mail:

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Case Antiques Auction of Beauford Delaney Abstract

An unusual Beauford Delaney abstract is up for auction at Case Antiques in Knoxville, TN:

Abstract Still Life Composition
(1976) Oil on board, acrylic and mixed media
Signed and dated lower left "Beauford Delaney 1976"
13 7/8" H x 19 5/8"
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

This piece is dated 1976, which is the year after Beauford was committed to Sainte-Anne's Hospital. It is the first piece I recall seeing that dates from the last four years of his life.

Abstract Still Life Composition (detail)
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

The provenance is listed as "Private South Carolina collection, originally purchased from the Tree Gallery in Chicago, Illinois."

I had hoped to interview Jim Romano, owner of the Tree Gallery, to learn how he acquired the painting. The Tree Gallery was located at 613 Tree Studios of the historically-classified Tree Studios Building and Annexes in Chicago's River North district. This property was renovated in the early 2000s and all occupants were forced to vacate the premises.

Upon researching Romano, I learned that he died in 2007.

Case Antiques has sold the following Beauford Delaney paintings in the past:

Untitled
Watercolor on paper
Signed and dated lower left in red ink, "Beauford Delaney 1971"
Photo courtesy of Case Antiques
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator


Portrait of Delia Delaney
(1964) Oil on canvas
Knoxville Museum of Art
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator


Untitled (Abstract of Face)
Oil on fabric pillowcase
Photo courtesy of Case Antiques
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator


The estimated sale price for Acrylic Still Life Composition is $4,000 - $6,000.

The auction is scheduled for January 21, 2017. For additional information, contact Case Antiques at

.



Saturday, January 7, 2017

Beauford at the American Cultural Center's Paris Celebration of Henry Miller

Henry Miller and Beauford met for the first time in New York during the early 1940s. Miller visited Beauford's Greene Street studio in the fall of 1943 and Beauford painting a stunning portrait of him in 1944.

Beauford showed the painting during a group exhibition in New York in 1945 and had it shipped to Miller's home in Big Sur in 1946. An image of the portrait was included in a 1971 Playboy article about Miller.

Photo of Henry Miller at his home in Big Sur
standing in front of Beauford's portrait of him
Photo from Beauford Delaney archives
reproduced by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator
Image @Wells International Foundation

Beauford and Miller developed a deep and lifelong friendship and Beauford was one of the persons Miller sought out whenever he visited Paris.

So it is perhaps not surprising that when the American Cultural Center in Paris organized a birthday celebration for Miller in January 1972, Beauford would be invited to participate in the festivities.

Don Foresta was the director of the American Cultural Center, AKA "The Dragon Center," at the time. I met him in Paris and he shared the story of this event for publication in the blog.

Foresta took on the directorship of the Center in 1971 as a long-time diplomat of the U.S. Foreign Service. Shortly thereafter, he was approached by Robert Snyder, Miller's son-in-law, about screening Snyder's 1969 documentary entitled "The Henry Miller Odyssey." Inspired by Snyder's request, Foresta organized a birthday celebration for Miller that took place at the Center in January 1972. (Miller was born on December 26, 1891.)

Snyder told Foresta about Beauford and Foresta met Beauford shortly thereafter. He visited Beauford at the rue Vercingétorix studio and found him to be quite serious and not very talkative.

Foresta went on to invite four artists who knew Miller and whose work Miller appreciated to contribute works to be shown at the week-long event: Beauford, Brassaï (Gyula Halász), Michonze, and Hans Reichel. Their exhibition was called Les Amis Parisiens de Henry Miller.

The Center published a catalog of sorts, which included a printed list of the seven works that Beauford contributed to the show and a full-page color reproduction of Beauford's portrait of Miller that is signed by Beauford in blue ink at the bottom margin of the page.


Portrait of Henry Miller
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator
Image (detail) from Abe Books Web site

Miller's favorite music was played on piano and French translations of some of his texts were read.

While the description of the event in Beauford'd biography, Amazing Grace: A Life of Beauford Delaney, indicates that Miller attended the event, Foresta says that Miller could not travel to Paris to celebrate his birthday. Both sources state that Miller shipped Beauford's portrait to Paris and that it served as the centerpiece of the art exhibition.

Beauford wrote a tribute to Miller for his 80th birthday, which I published previously on the Les Amis blog. Read it HERE.

"Henry Miller 80," the document that the American Cultural Center printed for the event, is a collector's item. It is available for purchase at Abe Books and at Amazon.com.



Saturday, December 24, 2016

Beauford at the Musée du quai Branly's Exhibition The Color Line

Portrait of Ella Fitzgerald (detail)
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

Beauford's Portrait of Ella Fitzgerald is a sparkling gem among the works of fine art being displayed at the exhibition entitled The Color Line, which is currently being shown at the Musée du quai Branly Jacques Chirac in Paris.

On loan from the SCAD Museum of Art in Savannah, South Carolina, it hangs in the "Black is Beautiful" section of the exhibition.

The SCAD Museum of Art describes the painting as follows:

Portrait of Ella Fitzgerald encapsulates Beauford Delaney’s range of artistic styles, marrying gestural abstract mark making with portraiture. His figurative works, which included portraits of other notable artists of the time such as Duke Ellington and Marian Anderson, turned ever more abstract and into complete non-representation after Delaney moved from New York to Paris in the early 1950s. This portrait parallels this stylistic shift as the characteristics of Ms. Fitzgerald’s face subtly emerge from, or disappear into, the expansive field of color and texture around her.

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


The Color Line
is an exhibition about U.S. history in which an inordinate number of works of fine art are hung. It will be on display through January 15, 2017.

The Color Line
Musée du quai Branly Jacques Chirac
37, quai Branly
75007 Paris
Telephone: 01.56.61.70.00
Internet: http://www.quaibranly.fr
Hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, Sunday - 11 AM to 7 PM; Thursday through Saturday - 11 AM to 9 PM. Closed Mondays.
Entry fee: 10€
Reduced fee: 7€

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Les Amis de Beauford Delaney is taking off for the holidays and will be back online in January 2017.

For a jazzy start to your Christmas weekend, click HERE to enjoy a song by Ella!

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!