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Saturday, March 16, 2013

Beauford Pastiche - March 2013

I occasionally surf the Web and browse the Leeming biography Amazing Grace: A Life of Beauford Delaney to look for tidbits of information about Beauford that will bring his life into sharper focus for me and the readers of this blog. I have grouped three interesting items as an information "pastiche" to share with you today.

  • After having lived in New York City for ten years, Beauford undertook his first journey back to his hometown of Knoxville in March 1950. He took the train and recorded his thoughts about the trip in his journal. Ever a lover of gospel music and spirituals, he mentioned that a Mahalia Jackson song - "I'm glad salvation is free" - came to mind as he went farther south. He also noted that he stayed awake the entire night of the journey.

Listen to Mahalia Jackson sing "I'm glad salvation is free" by clicking on the image below.

  • On a Web page that features the genealogy of the Sicilian and American Manfredi, Percoco, Marino, and Giangrasso families, Catherine Yronwode reports that her father, Giuseppe Manfredi (a.k.a. Joey Manfredi or Fred Manfredi), took painting lessons from Beauford and his brother Joseph when they lived in Greenwich Village. Beauford taught him to paint portraits and he eventually became a WPA artist. He paid for his lessons by acting as a model for Beauford and Joseph. Ms. Yronwode states that her father told her that Beauford was briefly in love with him and says her mother told her that Beauford and her father lived together for a while.

  • During the late 1960s and early 70s, Beauford merited the attention of three journalists who wrote "Paris Scratchpad" for Jet Magazine - Gerri Major, Art Simmons, and Ray Frost. In a column written by Ray Frost in June 1971, he is described as painter-writer-philosopher Beauford Delaney, "a familiar and engaging personage frequently seen holding court in various Paris cafés." Frost notes that the reference to "philosopher" stems from Beauford's talent for dispensing sage advice.

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