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, October 28, 2017

Beauford and the Delaney Family in Jefferson City, Tennessee

Beauford's father, John Samuel (Brother) Delaney, was a Methodist Episcopal preacher and a barber. In 1905, he was called to serve as pastor at the Boyd Chapel Methodist Church in Jefferson City and the entire family moved there - Delaney, his wife, Delia, and their nine children. Beauford was only three or four years old at the time.

David A. Leeming, author of Amazing Grace: A Life of Beauford Delaney, says the following about the family's Jefferson City abode:

Sam was installed as the pastor of the Boyd Chapel Methodist church. His only pay was help with the rent for the "parsonage" the family lived in near the church ... The house was quite small, but it had a large vegetable garden as well as a huge front yard for the young children to play in. This would be home for five years.

Delia Naomi Delaney, the tenth and last of the Delaney siblings, was born in Jefferson City. She died in 1909 at eight months of age.

Photo of the Delaney Family, 1909
Top, left to right: Samuel Emery, John Samuel, Delia
Bottom, left to right: Joseph, Ogust Mae, Beauford, Naomi
Photo from du Closel archive
Image © Discover Paris!

Boyd Chapel recently celebrated its 150th anniversary of existence.

150th Anniversary Celebration Banner
Detail from photo by Standard Banner, Jefferson City, TN

Stephen Wicks, Barbara W. and Bernard E. Bernstein Curator at the Knoxville Museum of Art, was invited to speak at their celebration on September 16. Members of the Delaney family were in the audience.

Stephen Wicks Speaks at 150th Anniversary Celebration
Photo courtesy of Reverend Dr. Andrew Smith,
pastor of Boyd Chapel UMC

Attendees at 150th Anniversary Celebration
Photo courtesy of Reverend Dr. Andrew Smith,
pastor of Boyd Chapel UMC

Stephen Wicks at table (second from left);
Delaney family member in foreground
Photo courtesy of Reverend Dr. Andrew Smith,
pastor of Boyd Chapel UMC

During his presentation, Wicks made the argument that Beauford and his brother Joseph began their artistic paths at Boyd Chapel as they spent time "shaping figures of red clay in the parsonage yard and drawing biblical illustrations on their Sunday school programs."

The Delaney family remained in Jefferson City until 1915, when they returned to their original home at 815 East Vine Street in Knoxville. The building that Boyd Chapel UMC currently occupies was constructed in 1922.

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