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, June 4, 2016

Beauford at the International James Baldwin Conference in Paris

In the Entrée to Black Paris blog from Thursday, June 2, I reported on the International James Baldwin conference that was hosted by the American University of Paris from May 26-28, 2016.

You might well imagine that Beauford's relationship with James Baldwin was discussed during the conference. At least five presenters discussed it in depth or focused exclusively on it:

Deborah Tulani Salahu-Din of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture spoke about the relationship between Baldwin and Beauford and the inclusion of the Smithsonian's portrait of James Baldwin by Beauford in their Making the Way gallery.

James Baldwin
(1963) Pastel on Paper
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institute
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

James Smalls of the University of Maryland presented "James Baldwin and Beauford Delaney; The Color of Light" and showed images of several of Beauford's portraits of Baldwin.

Portrait of James Baldwin
(1945) Oil on canvas
Philadelphia Museum of Art
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

This particular portrait appeared in an unexpected form at the opening plenary session of the conference!

Portrait of James Baldwin on T-shirt
© Discover Paris!

In the panel discussion called "'The Light Was Always Changing': James Baldwin (Re)Sighted," Tyler Schmidt of Lehman College, CUNY in the Bronx spoke about Beauford's Rosa Parks series and his Street Sweeper in the context of Beauford's concern with the Civil Rights movement in the U.S.

Rosa Parks
(1967) Oil on canvas
Image courtesy of Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, LLC, New York, NY
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

Street Sweeper (Le Balayeur)
(1968) Oil on canvas
Image courtesy of Swann Auction Galleries
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

During the same panel, in a talk entitled "James Baldwin, Beauford Delaney, and Light," freelance curator/writer/art historian Lizzetta LeFalle Collins spoke of why and how she believes that Baldwin and Beauford shared a creative process for writing and painting, respectively.

She read the passage from Baldwin's essay about the evolution of Beauford's work during the Clamart years and showed an image of one of Beauford's abstracts from that period, which she compared to a photo of a private garden behind a house a few doors down from Beauford and Baldwin’s Clamart home.

Private garden on rue Paul Vaillant Couturier
© Les Amis de Beauford Delaney

I presented "Beauford and Baldwin: Paris Stomping Grounds," which was a slide show of many of the favorite hangouts and places where Beauford and Baldwin lived in Paris - and beyond. I also spoke of the recent Resonance of Form and Vibration of Color exhibition.

Monique shows the Beauford Delaney catalog
© Discover Paris!

It was gratifying to hear several people declare how much they appreciate this blog as a rich source of information about Beauford!

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