Les Amis de Beauford Delaney is supporting the completion of


the first full-length documentary about Beauford.

Join us in making this video tribute to Beauford a reality!



Saturday, March 1, 2014

Higher Ground: Artist Spotlight on Beauford at the Knoxville Museum of Art

The Knoxville Museum of Art (KMA) is placing an "Artist Spotlight" on Beauford by displaying a small collection of his work through June 2014. Called Higher Ground, the spotlight features six works from several collections. Two of these paintings and the descriptions that accompany them in the exposition are shown below.

Distant Horizons
(1952) Oil on canvas
16 x 20 inches
Larry and Brenda Thompson Collection
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

By the early 1950s, Beauford Delaney became determined to pursue his dream of moving from New York to Paris. In order to prepare for the move, he made arrangements in June of 1953 to store the paintings in his studio at 713 Broadway with various friends. Delaney’s friends also organized a fund-raiser to help finance the trip. The door prize was Delaney's recent painting, Distant Horizons.

(1963) Watercolor on paper
32 ½ x 26 ½ inches
Tennessee State Museum, Nashville
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

By the time he left for Paris in 1953, Delaney was already well along a path of experimentation with abstraction, which would become the dominant mode of his work for the remainder of his career. Although he continued to produce portraits and landscapes, the central subject of his work became luminous color applied with explosive brushwork in a manner that consumed all references to the visible world.


The Knoxville Museum of Art has worked diligently to call attention to the artistic accomplishments of both brothers by hosting or organizing such exhibitions as Beauford Delaney: An Introduction (1997), Joseph Delaney: Works on Paper (2002), Beauford Delaney: From New York to Paris (2005). Since February 2013, the KMA has also served as the repository for the contents of the estate of Beauford Delaney. In exchange, the estate has made available to the KMA key works for display and possible acquisition. The KMA wishes to acknowledge the estate and its key role in this special display.

At present, the KMA collection does not include any works by Beauford Delaney. Acquiring a significant group of his paintings is one of the KMA’s primary acquisitions goals.

For more information, contact:

Stephen C. Wicks
Barbara W. and Bernard E. Bernstein Curator
1050 World's Fair Park Drive
Knoxville, TN 37916


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