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the first full-length documentary about Beauford.

Join us in making this video tribute to Beauford a reality!



Saturday, November 18, 2017

Beauford and Joseph Delaney to Be Honored in Knoxville

As a direct result of inspiration stemming from the two plaques that honor Beauford in the Montparnasse district of Paris, members of the Gathering Light movement in Knoxville have received approval for the installation of a double-sided marker that honors Beauford and his brother Joseph near the original Delaney home.

The Calvin M. McClung Historical Collection at the East Tennessee History Center in Knoxville is the sponsor for the proposed historical marker.

East Tennessee History Center
© Wells International Foundation

The Beck Cultural Exchange Center and the Knoxville Museum of Art are co-sponsors of the request.

Beck Cultural Exchange Center
© Wells International Foundation

Knoxville Museum of Art
© Wells International Foundation

The proposed location for the marker is the corner of E. Summit Hill Drive SE and Patton St (the preferred location) or directly across the street on the opposite side of E. Summit Hill Drive SE.

The placement is as near as the co-sponsors can get to Beauford's birthplace on E. Vine Street, which was destroyed by urban "renewal" between 1959 and 1974.

Proposed location of Delaney marker
Google map

The proposed text that honors Beauford reads as follows:

1901 – 1979

Beauford Delaney is considered one of the
greatest abstract painters of the 20th century.
Battling poverty, racial prejudice, and mental
illness, he achieved acclaim for his expressive
portraits, cityscapes, and abstractions.
Beauford was an African American artist, one
of ten children born to Delia and John Samuel
Delaney at 815 East Vine Avenue, Knoxville,
near this site, but he spent most of his life in
New York City and Paris, forming lifelong
friendships with James Baldwin, Henry Miller,
and other luminaries. Beauford Delaney is buried
in Cimetière Parisien de Thiais.

The proposed text for Joseph is as follows:

1904 – 1991

Born near this site, African American artist
Joseph Delaney, like his older brother Beauford,
studied under local artist Lloyd Branson. In 1930
Joseph began his studies in New York at the Art
Students League. Joseph spent the next
56 years painting portraits and scenes of
urban life in lower Manhattan. In 1986, he
returned to Knoxville and served as artist in
residence at University of Tennessee until his
death in 1991. His works are in the collection of
the Smithsonian American Art Museum and other
major museums. Joseph Delaney is buried in
Greenwood Cemetery, Knoxville.

Image of a portrait of Joseph Delaney
by Beauford Delaney
in Amazing Grace: A Life of Beauford Delaney
by David A. Leeming

The co-sponsors hope that the installation will take place in March / April 2018. They have submitted a follow-up request to have a single marker placed for Beauford and a second marker for Joseph on opposite sides of the street. The text for each marker would face oncoming traffic.

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