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, December 24, 2016

Beauford at the Musée du quai Branly's Exhibition The Color Line

Portrait of Ella Fitzgerald (detail)
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

Beauford's Portrait of Ella Fitzgerald is a sparkling gem among the works of fine art being displayed at the exhibition entitled The Color Line, which is currently being shown at the Musée du quai Branly Jacques Chirac in Paris.

On loan from the SCAD Museum of Art in Savannah, South Carolina, it hangs in the "Black is Beautiful" section of the exhibition.

The SCAD Museum of Art describes the painting as follows:

Portrait of Ella Fitzgerald encapsulates Beauford Delaney’s range of artistic styles, marrying gestural abstract mark making with portraiture. His figurative works, which included portraits of other notable artists of the time such as Duke Ellington and Marian Anderson, turned ever more abstract and into complete non-representation after Delaney moved from New York to Paris in the early 1950s. This portrait parallels this stylistic shift as the characteristics of Ms. Fitzgerald’s face subtly emerge from, or disappear into, the expansive field of color and texture around her.

Portrait of Ella Fitzgerald
(1968) Oil on canvas
Permanent collection of the SCAD Museum of Art, Savannah
Gift of Dr. Walter O. and Mrs. Linda J. Evans
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

The Color Line
is an exhibition about U.S. history in which an inordinate number of works of fine art are hung. It will be on display through January 15, 2017.

The Color Line
Musée du quai Branly Jacques Chirac
37, quai Branly
75007 Paris
Internet: http://www.quaibranly.fr
Hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, Sunday - 11 AM to 7 PM; Thursday through Saturday - 11 AM to 9 PM. Closed Mondays.
Entry fee: 10€
Reduced fee: 7€


Les Amis de Beauford Delaney is taking off for the holidays and will be back online in January 2017.

For a jazzy start to your Christmas weekend, click HERE to enjoy a song by Ella!


Saturday, December 17, 2016

Beauford at the Studio Museum in Harlem's Circa 1970 Exhibition

Circa 1970
presents paintings, photographs, drawings, prints, and sculpture from the Studio Museum in Harlem's collection. Forty-one (41) works by twenty-six (26) artists were selected by Lauren Haynes to explore the historical, socio-political, and cultural landscapes of the period between 1970 and 1979. Hayes was formerly Associate Curator of the Permanent Collection at The Studio Museum in Harlem and is now Curator of Contemporary Art at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.

Beauford's Portrait of a Young Musician was selected as the signature painting for promoting the exhibition, which includes works by artists such as David Hammons and Barbara Chase-Riboud, as well as personal friends of Beauford such as Ed Clark and Romare Bearden.

Portrait of a Young Musician
(1970) Acrylic on canvas
51 x 38 in; 129.5 x 96.5 cm
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator
Studio Museum in Harlem; Gift of Ms. Ogust Delaney Stewart, Knoxville, TN 2004.2.27
Photo: Marc Bernier

The portrait was first shown at the Studio Museum during the first retrospective of Beauford's work that took place from April 9-July 2, 1978. That exhibition was curated by the late Dr. Richard A. Long.

The information panel for Circa 1970 refers to the 1970s as a decade of increased social consciousness and awareness that allowed for greater inclusivity for black artists in the mainstream art world. While Beauford had been living in Paris for almost 20 years by this time, he benefited somewhat from this "opening." In the biography Amazing Grace: A Life of Beauford Delaney, author David Leeming writes that 1970 and 1971 were "years of success of sorts":

Georgia O'Keeffe's portrait of him was on display at the Whitney Museum in New York, the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery asked to borrow the Marian Anderson portrait that only a few years earlier they had declined to purchase, . . . [and] his portrait of Henry Miller was in the November 1971 issue of Playboy magazine.

In France, the solo exhibition that Darthea Speyer organized for him in Paris in 1973 inspired a positive review written by French journalist Jacques Michel for Le Monde.

Circa 1970
November 17, 2016 - March 5, 2017
The Studio Museum in Harlem
144 West 125th Street
New York, New York 10027

Museum Hours
Wednesday: 5pm–7pm, Members Only
Thursday: 12pm–9pm
Friday: 12pm–9pm
Saturday: 10am–6pm
Sunday: 12pm–6pm

The Museum is closed on Christmas Day.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Beauford's Rehearsal

At the recent Art Basel Miami Beach Fair, Michael Rosenfeld Gallery's (MRG) Jazz and Improvisation checklist included eleven Beauford Delaney works. Among them was Rehearsal, an image of which is shown below.

(1952) oil on canvas
36 1/8" x 30 1/8" / 91.8 x 76.5 cm
signed and dated
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator
Image courtesy of Michael Rosenfeld Gallery LLC, New York, NY

This painting was enjoyed by two private collectors prior to finding its way to MRG. Among the gallery's notes about the work is the following statement:

Rehearsal is extremely autobiographical and the church choir subject is one that naturally resonated with Delaney. His father Samuel Delaney was a Methodist minister, and his favorite brother, Samuel Emery Delaney, was a gospel singer and a member of a jubilee quartet that traveled throughout the South singing spirituals and gospels. Delaney himself loved to sing and occasionally gave recitals in New York clubs and concert halls.

Rehearsal was one of the paintings shown at Beauford's final solo exhibition at the Roko Gallery in New York (December 29, 1952 - January 22, 1953). In her Art News article about the exhbition, Betty Holloway described the painting has having a "solemn" mood.

In 1994, Rehearsal was displayed in New York once again - this time at the Philippe Briet Gallery. The solo show was called Beauford Delaney: The New York Years (1929-1952). It consisted of 47 works that Beauford created between 1929 and 1953.

Eleanor Heartney wrote an insightful review of the exhibition (Art in America, November 1994), which included multiple works inspired by musical themes. She says the following about Rehearsal:
In a different mood, Rehearsal (1952) depicts a gospel choir practicing beneath the gothic arches of brilliantly colored church windows.

She then goes on to briefly discuss Beauford's "disappearance from the consciousness of the New York art world," attributing it in part to Beauford's emigration from New York to Paris at precisely the time when New York was becoming recognized as "the world's cultural capital."

Michael Rosenfeld Gallery
100 11th Avenue at 19th Street
New York, NY 10011
Internet: http://michaelrosenfeldart.com

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Beauford Honored in Portraiture

Over the years, I've had the pleasure of bringing you stories about people who loved Beauford and / or admired his work and who chose to express their feelings by painting a portrait of him. I thought it would be nice to gather images of some of these portraits into a single post and share the links to the original stories.


October 6, 2012
Beauford in Blue: Story of a Portrait

Beauford Delaney
Shawn Olszewski
(2010) Oil bar and oil pastel on canvas

December 29, 2012
A Birthday Card for Beauford

Beauford Delaney
Joseph Langley
(2012) Acrylic and pencil on canvas

May 3, 2014
James LeGros Remembers Beauford - Part 1

Portrait Beauford Delaney
(1972) Pastel on paper
© James K. LeGros

November 8, 2014
Nell Painter on Beauford

Beauford Delaney at Yaddo Pink 2014
Nell Painter
(2014) Digital and manual collage on paper

October 29, 2016
From Knoxville to Paris - Part 2

Portrait of Beauford Delaney
Daniel Craft
(2016) Acrylic on canvas
© Wells International Foundation