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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Saturday, September 17, 2011

Where to Find Beauford’s Art: Musée cantonal des Beaux-Arts

In Romare Bearden and Harry Henderson’s chapter on Beauford in A History of African-American Artists – From 1792 to the Present, the authors state that “Beauford Delaney has no long list of museum credits, prizes, or awards.” While Beauford may not have won many prizes, he certainly has numerous museum credits to his name. Many date after the publication of Bearden and Henderson’s book; all deserve to be brought to light. This is what I will attempt to do in the next several postings on this blog.

Let’s begin with a work that belongs to the Musée cantonal des Beaux Arts in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Mémoire (Memory)
Beauford Delaney
(ca. 1964) Oil on canvas, 192 x 129.5 cm
Lausanne, Musée cantonal des Beaux-Arts
© Musée cantonal des Beaux-Arts de Lausanne
Photo: J.-C. Ducret


Monsieur René Berger, director of the museum from 1962-1981, learned of Beauford’s work during an exposition organized by the museum in 1963. The “1er Salon international de galeries-pilotes” (1st International “Pioneer Galleries” Salon) was held from June 21 – September 22, 1963, where Beauford’s Composition (1958) was presented by the Paul Facchetti Gallery. Berger selected the Facchetti Gallery and three other galleries from New York, Milan, and Paris for this first of three expositions that he organized to showcase galleries with a spirit of openness and discovery regarding art and artists.

Berger subsequently visited Beauford at his studio on rue Vercingétorix.

Mémoire was acquired by the Musée cantonal des Beaux-Arts in 1964 (Inv. 1964-011). According to Beauford’s biographer,
David A. Leeming, the sale was arranged by Beauford’s dear friend Ahmed Bioud. The painting is currently archived at the museum.

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