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Saturday, November 2, 2013

Beauford's Paris: Montparnasse Cemetery

On October 31, 2013, I happened to stroll past the Montparnasse Cemetery. James Baldwin wanted this to be Beauford's final resting place, but neither he nor Beauford's family had the money to pay for a plot.

Montparnasse Cemetery - Main Entrance
© Discover Paris!

The sidewalk in front of the main entrance was dotted with pots of flowers waiting to be sold to those visiting grave sites on the eve of All Saints' Day.

Pots of flowers
© Discover Paris!

When I saw these beautiful yellow mums, I thought of Beauford and all the brilliant paintings that he created in the color yellow.

Yellow chrysanthemums
© Discover Paris!

I also thought about two artists whose acquaintance he had made and who are buried in the cemetery: Man Ray and Constantin Brâncuși.

Grave site of Man and Juliet Ray
© Discover Paris!

Grave site of Constantin Brâncuși
Screen shot from video

According to biographer David A. Leeming, Beauford had seen Brâncuși's sculpture The Kiss here and admired it greatly. The Kiss can be found in at the grave of a friend of Brâncuși in another area of the cemetery.

Le Baiser
Constantin Brâncuși
© Discover Paris!

A smaller Brâncuși sculpture by the same name is also located there.

Le Baiser
Constantin Brâncuși
© Discover Paris!

Beauford's studio at the Hôtel des Ecoles on rue Delambre and the studio on rue Vercingétorix were both within easy walking distance of this prestigious cemetery. It would have been a natural place for him to be interred.

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