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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Where to Find Beauford's Art: New England

If you live in New England, or are planning a visit there, note that you can see works by Beauford at the following museums:

Worcester Art Museum - Worcester, Massachusetts
Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art - Hartford, Connecticut
Bowdoin College Museum of Art - Brunswick, Maine

The Worcester Art Museum holds a portrait entitled Portrait of Gaylord. It is on view in the Rose Gallery on the fourth floor of the museum.

Portrait of Gaylord
(1944) Oil on canvas mounted on artist board

Here is the description of the painting furnished by the museum:

When Beauford Delaney moved to New York City in 1929 he quickly fell in with the writers and artists of the time including Charles Alston, Henry Miller, James Baldwin, and musicians Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, and Marian Anderson. Throughout his life he painted portraits of the friends he had made, though the identity of some, including Gaylord in this painting, remains a mystery. Gaylord is thought to have been a musician, a pianist with two fingers missing on one hand, who played at a club that Beauford frequented. To the right of Gaylord’s face is an image of a piano player, perhaps Gaylord himself, while on the left is a figure, possibly Delaney, standing in front of an easel. This work, with its bright colors and swirled brushstrokes is reminiscent of one of Delaney’s main influences: Vincent van Gogh.

The Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art owns an abstract expressionist painting by Beauford that it currently holds in storage.

Untitled (Green)
(1961) Oil on canvas

This work was selected to be shown in the exposition The Color Yellow, mounted by the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Georgia in 2002. The exhibit traveled to the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Anacostia Museum and Center for African History and Culture at the Smithsonian, and the Fogg Art Museum at Harvard University. The Wadsworth Atheneum museum describes it as “an abstracted composition of pink and green swirls.”

Those wishing to see this painting should contact Patricia Hickson, Curator of Contemporary Art at the Wadsworth Atheneum museum.

The work owned by the Bowdoin College Museum of Art is an abstract expressionist painting that was given to the museum by halley k. harrisburg (alumma of Bowdoin, Class of 1990) and Michael Rosenfeld. It is not currently on view.

(1960) Oil on canvas

I will update this posting when I am able to obtain further information about the paintings at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art and the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art.

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