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.!

We value your support!

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(All or part of your gift through WIF may qualify as a charitable deductible in the U.S.)

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving Day Weekend!

The Les Amis blog is taking Thanksgiving Day weekend off.

Still Life with Pears
(1946) Oil on canvas
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

I hope that you are enjoying this special time with your family and that you are looking forward to a happy holiday season!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Beauford's Agonie Solaire as Book Cover

I recently met Robert Tricoire, a retired French journalist who worked for the Cultural Service of the U.S. Embassy in Paris for several years. He knew Beauford well and was kind enough to invite me to his home to share some of his remembrances of Beauford with me.

Robert supervised a project that involved the translation of the works of American writers into French and the selection of paintings by American artists to serve as cover art for these books. One such work was Henry Pelling's Le Mouvement Ouvrier aux Etats-Unis, published in French in 1965. Beauford's abstract painting Agonie Solaire was selected as the cover for this book.

Book cover – Le Mouvement Ouvrier aux Etats-Unis
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator
© Discover Paris!

The page after the title page reads:

The original edition of this work was published in the collection The Chicago History of American Civilization
directed by Daniel J. Boorstin, under the title:
American Labor.
Translation: Marie-Jean Béraud-Villars
The cover reproduces a work by the American painter
Beauford Delaney: Agonie Solaire (1963)

Verso of title page
© Discover Paris!

The rear of the book indicated the location of the printing company and the name of the publisher:

End Print
29 September 1965
on the presses of Gerard and Co. at Verviers (Belgium)
for Paris editor Pierre Seghers.
Editor no.: 1447

Last page of the book
© Discover Paris!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

The Baldwin~Delaney Institute Moves into High Gear

I am pleased to bring you an update on the activities of the Baldwin~Delaney Institute in Chicago:

Entrance to The Baldwin~Delaney Institute
Photo courtesy of E. L. Kornegay, Jr., founder

The Baldwin~Delaney Institute (BDI) has moved into high gear with its vision!

BDI is experiencing success in developing key partnerships related to its programming and current research focus on the study of rage as an essential component for eradicating violence. Dr. E. L. Kornegay, Jr.says:

The study of Beauford Delaney is important in the study of rage from the perspective of grappling with it. Beauford was a victim of violence during his New York years, when he was “beaten up several times by white Village toughs simply because he was ‘an artistic Negro’ – that is, gay and black…”* This was maddening for him, figuratively and literally, and also a source of great art. I intend to use the legacy of Beauford to find a way to eradicate violence.

BDI is embarking on the development of a seven-phase plan of action that encompasses research & development based on the study of rage; pilot projects for high school students, families (intergenerational), and graduate students; partnering with organizations in need of programming resources and innovation related to the eradication of violence through the KAPacity! Network; publications; and public policy analyses. All this is being done with a goal of empowering the next generation of scholars, ministers, leaders and everyday folk (young and mature) to live out the brightest vision they have of their lives without the fear of violence hindering them.

Dr. E. L. Kornegay, Jr.
Photo courtesy of E. L. Kornegay, Jr.

Dr. Kornegay is the CEO/Founder of the Baldwin~Delaney Institute for Academic Enrichment and Faith Flourishing and Adjunct Professor of Theology and Ethics at Chicago Theological Seminary. He is also the author of A Queering of Black Theology: James Baldwin’s Blues Project and Gospel Prose.

*Amazing Grace: A Life of Beauford Delaney by David Leeming

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Man in African Dress

I was privileged to view an original Beauford Delaney painting in a private collection in Paris.

Man in African Dress
(1972) Watercolor on Paper
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

This work was shown at the Beauford Delaney: The Color Yellow exposition mounted by the High Museum in Atlanta, so it was a rare treat for me to be able to view it "up close and personally."

Identification sticker (rear)
© Discover Paris!

The current owner was kind enough allow me to photograph the painting, removing the frame to avoid reflections.

Beauford's signature (lower left)
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

Dedication (lower right)
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

Man in African Dress (detail)
(1972) Watercolor on Paper
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

He has only vague recollections of Beauford as being one among many visitors at his home when he was a child.

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.