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Saturday, June 25, 2011

Beauford and Friends on Greene Street

After reading last week's guest posting by Richard Gibson on sitting for his Delaney portrait, his friend Tony Hagert sent the information below regarding Beauford's studio on Greene Street in New York. It is a wonderful glimpse at what life was like for him, his roommate, Richard Hadlock, and landlord Beauford!

Greene Street
Beauford Delaney
(1940) Oil on canvas
Photo by André Moran from the Artsmia Web site

Actually, Dick Hadlock and I were on the second floor and Beauford on the third. We paid him $35 per month and later found out he was paying $25 for both floors - all from a generous friend, I think, because it was pretty cheap even for those days (1951+).

The first floor at 181 Greene Street was a twine warehouse and not a fashionable address altho' only two blocks from Washington Square, Fifth Avenue, and New York University. There was no hot water so we used to go to Grand Central Station every so often to bathe for 75 cents (plus tip). If we were invited to someone's home, we would ask if it was OK for us to bring our soap and towel, and they could watch if they wanted - or help, even.

Before we moved in, we had to empty out the second floor which was completely filled with bags of ashes from the pot bellied stove on the third floor - several years' worth. I cannot recall how we disposed of them but it must have been by stealth at night because we could not afford to have them hauled away.

Then we repainted the second floor over the four or five haphazard end-of-the-can colors that had been there before the ashes, brought in our old records, and were as happy as clams.

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