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, January 10, 2015

Beauford in Istanbul

Beauford visited James Baldwin in Istanbul in July-August 1966 and June 1969. He painted the work shown below in 1966

Untitled (Istanbul, Turkey)
(1966) Oil on thick, cream wove paper
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

and gave it to his friend, Mary Painter (her Paris address is inscribed on the back).

Beauford's biographer, David Leeming, describes this first visit to Istanbul in Amazing Grace: A Life of Beauford Delaney. He quotes from a letter that Beauford wrote to Henry Miller in July 1966:

Being in Turkey is more exciting to me than being in Venice . . . there are ancient essences . . . the weather and the light are beyond my power to resist.

Leeming served as Baldwin's secretary and lived with Beauford and Baldwin in Istanbul at that time. He writes that Beauford

painted portraits of us all, did watercolors of the hills of Asia across the straits, bestowed a much needed aura of peace on the usually tumultuous Baldwin scene, and became an object of veneration among our Turkish friends, who would come to him each afternoon as to a wise guru.

Sedat Pakay, Turkish photographer and filmmaker, was one of those friends. Read about Pakay's memories of Beauford here:

Sedat Pakay's Tribute to Beauford

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