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Saturday, April 1, 2017

Beauford in the Knoxville News-Sentinel

The Knoxville News-Sentinel, one of the principal newspapers of Beauford's hometown of Knoxville, TN, has published several articles about him throughout the years.

Knoxville News-Sentinel - current masthead

The most recent one appeared in the arts section of the paper last July: A movement is underway to recognize artist Beauford Delaney in his hometown of Knoxville

Steve Cotham of the East Tennessee History Center kindly sent me copies of several older articles that the paper published about Beauford. Dating from 1935 to 1978, they report on his life in New York, art exhibitions that he participated in, his visits home, and his hospitalization in Paris. Here are some of the headlines:

Article published 8 February 1942

"Knoxville Negro Artist Has Successful Exhibit" was written by Miss Della Yoe. Yoe refers to Beauford as being a "Negro artist formerly of Knoxville," and spells his name "Beuford." She mentions his 1941 exhibition in Washington Square in Spring 1941, acknowledging its success, and notes that it was reviewed in The News-Sentinel. Much of the article consists of an extensive quote from a Don Freeman essay about Beauford.

Article published 1 January 1970

"Knoxvillian Back From 16-Year Visit" indicates that Beauford (spelled "Buford" in the article) "went to Paris intending to visit three weeks. Now, 16 years later, he has finally interrupted a successful art career in France to return for a visit in Knoxville." The unnamed writer mentions that Beauford stayed with his brother Samuel at 1935 Dandridge Avenue and that his intent was to "do some painting and just visit" during his trip. He states that many of Beauford's portraits hung in French homes and that one of his paintings "hangs in the Lausanne Gallery in Switzerland."

Article published 9 August 1976

"Paris Artists Aim To Free Ex-Knox Painter, 73, and Send Him Home" contains several quotes from Beauford's friend, Jean-Loup Msika. Writer William Steif refers to the efforts of Msika and several other artists to get Beauford released from Sainte-Anne's Hospital and establish a private residence for him where he could paint and receive nursing care. It says that Beauford suffered from "hardening of the arteries," which made him forgetful and indicates that James Baldwin believed Beauford would benefit from going back to the southern United States.

Baldwin apparently did not know that Beauford had family remaining in Knoxville - a companion article entitled "Delaney Has Brother and Niece in Knoxville" talks about Samuel Delaney, his wife, and their daughter Imogene, who lived at 1935 Dandridge Avenue. This is the address of the home that the Beck Cultural Exchange Center in Knoxville has purchased and plans to restore.

The East Tennessee History Center hopes to become the permanent home of the Beauford Delaney archives.

East Tennessee History Center
© Wells International Foundation

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