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.!

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Saturday, October 18, 2014

Beauford's "Citation in Context"

Installation artist Aprille Best Glover sent me an e-mail a few days ago. I quote from her message below:

First thank you for all your content. I have been doing huge amount of research about Paris and I keep bumping into your site (Entrée to Black Paris). If it wouldn’t be too inconvenient, could I ask you for some assistance concerning Beauford Delaney?

What I am working on now is a very large map of Paris (3 meters by 2 meters) built of quotes in the shape of city blocks. The particularity of this map is that each quote is placed over a location that I can trace directly to the person quoted (their home, historical happening, workplace or atelier, for example). I have located what I think are most of the obvious African-Americans in Paris (James Baldwin, Josephine Baker, Miles Davis, Barbara Chase-Riboud, Nina Simone, Richard Wright, Angela Davis, Victor Séjour, etc.), hence my stumbling over your site multiple times.

I was wondering if you might be able to give me a direct quote of Beauford Delaney and any addresses inside Paris that are directly connected with his life...

Aprille calls her project "108 Quotes 108 Days 108 Citation 108 Joys." She shared the URL for the Web site in her message: Le Grand Livre de Paris.

I happily prepared a response containing a quote from Beauford, the most important of the addresses where he lived in Paris, and the URL for the Les Amis blog. Before sending it, I visited her Web site and saw that the first person quoted on the site is James Baldwin.

When I sent my reply, I asked Aprille whether she was aware of the deep connection between Baldwin and Beauford. She was not. She sent a return message asking me whether I had written anything about Beauford and volunteered to place a link to an article that speaks of the connection between him and Beauford. She has done just that. At the end of the English text about Baldwin (there is a French translation of it on the page as well), she emphasizes that articles that treat the subject of Baldwin's and Beauford's relationship highlights how personal connection matters.

Aprille's project is not yet finished and the section of the map that contains Beauford's quote is not yet on line. She has graciously allowed me to publish it here (click on the image to enlarge it):

Citations in Context (detail)
© Aprille Best Glover

The quotation that I supplied (from Amazing Grace: A Life of Beauford Delaney) is as follows:

Time became different--not just an hour by the clock but a mysterious aliveness from the tips of your toes to the top of your head, touching everything and everyone. This began to be Paris for me...

Aprille has placed it in the section of the map where Saint Anne's Hospital is located in the 14th arrondissement.

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