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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Joseph Delaney Remembers Beauford

Joseph Delaney was Beauford’s younger brother. Born in 1904, he and Beauford were the closest in age of the Delaney siblings. Both became artists and were part of a community of artists living in NYC during the Great Depression. Both have their works exhibited at the Knoxville Museum of Art in their hometown of Knoxville, Tennessee.

Image of a portrait of Joseph Delaney
by Beauford Delaney
in Amazing Grace: A Life of Beauford Delaney
by David A. Leeming

Joseph was asked to contribute remarks to the catalog that was published in conjunction with the first retrospective of Beauford’s work, held at the Studio Museum in Harlem in 1978. He described Beauford as “one of the most sensitive and talented of all artists of all times,” and said that if he were to qualify that statement, he would need to explore “all of the qualities which make for the enigma which genius is . . .” He noted that Beauford was recognized early in life as being a special person with unique talents, and that “teachers and other professional people of high rank gave Beauford time and understanding.”

Catalog for Beauford’s 1st Retrospective at the
Studio Museum in Harlem 1978

Joseph also described Beauford as being multitalented, saying that Beauford could “sing like mad,” and play the ukulele, and that he was an excellent mimic. Beauford was the extrovert, while Joseph was the introvert of the two brothers.

Another distinction that Joseph makes in his tribute to his brother is that Beauford developed an appreciation for opera and “other great classics in music and literature.” He states that Beauford was never happier than on the day in 1969 when Joseph visited him in Paris and Beauford took him to the opera.

To read the complete text of Joseph Delaney’s remarks, click on the following link: http://sunsite.utk.edu/delaney/beauford.htm

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