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Saturday, May 23, 2015

Dr. William A. Dodd's Tribute to Beauford

Dr. William A. Dodd purchased Untitled (Grape motif) from Dolan/Maxwell Gallery in Philadelphia.

Dr. William A. Dodd and Untitled (Grape Motif) (1946)
© Estate of Beauford Delaney,
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator
Photo © Discover Paris!

I asked him to comment on his interest in Beauford's work and why he collects letters and other information about Beauford's life. He responded as follows:

I first learned about Beauford in the late 90s when I was visiting lots of New York galleries. Michael Rosenfeld's catalogs of African-American 20th century masterworks may have been my first introduction to Beauford's work.

What attracts me to his work is two-fold - the simplicity (through the outlining of his images) and his vibrant use of color in his Greene street and cityscape paintings. I also like his abstract paintings with their heavy textures and complex swirls of color.

I became intrigued with his life when I learned that he lived in Greenwich Village and in France. My mother, who lived in Harlem, told me about the bohemian life of the Village - the jazz, fashion, and art. I also developed an interest in French culture and studied French in high school and college.

Beauford lived the life I dreamed of. I read the Leeming bio and realized that his freedom came with a cost. So I began researching and collecting material about him to get a better understanding of the man.

Dodd's collection of Beauford Delaney memorabilia includes documents and photos from Beauford's 1947 show at the Pyramid Club in Philadelphia and a catalog of his one-man show at the Paul Facchetti Gallery in Paris in 1960.

Catalog of the 7th Annual
Pyramid Club Exhibition of Painting and Sculpture - Cover
© Discover Paris!

Beauford Delaney catalog
Galerie Paul Facchetti
© Discover Paris!

There are also several letters that Beauford wrote to a patron named Frank Scoville, which date from 1949 to 1954.

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