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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.

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