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.!

We value your support!

TO MAKE A DONATION, CLICK HERE.
(All or part of your gift through WIF may qualify as a charitable deductible in the U.S.)

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Season's Greetings from Les Amis de Beauford Delaney!

In celebration of this year's holiday season, I'm sharing links to a couple of past blog posts published about Beauford at Christmas:

Christmas with Beauford

A Christmas Self-portrait

Les Amis hopes you had a very Merry Christmas and we wish you a Happy New Year!


Saturday, December 22, 2018

Knoxville Honors Beauford with Art Wraps

David Butler, Executive Director of the Knoxville Museum of Art, recently shared news about a "Downtown Art Wrap" in Knoxville that features one of Beauford's paintings. Never having heard of an "Art Wrap" before, I asked David to connect me with someone who could explain the concept. Paul James, Development Director for the Knoxville History Project, graciously granted me an interview to explain it all.

Beauford Delaney Untitled Landscape Art Wrap
Image courtesy of Knoxville History Project

Les Amis: Who conceived of the Art Wrap?

PJ: The general idea of wrapping local traffic boxes (on three or four sides with vinyl) was suggested to the Knoxville History Project (KHP) by a local downtown resident-focused group called City People. Several of their members had seen traffic boxes and utility boxes wrapped in other places using old black and white photographs or contemporary artworks.

Following feedback from Knoxville’s Public Arts Committee, KHP submitted a small grants request to City People to fund a new concept – showcasing artworks from Knoxville’s artists of the past. This approach is better aligned with KHP’s mission and provides an opportunity for visitors and residents to discover aspects of the city’s artistic heritage. Plus, colorful artworks add a greater vibrancy to downtown streetscapes than old photographs!

To get us started, City People awarded KHP a modest grant to wrap two initial traffic boxes which went on public display on Gay Street in August, 2017 featuring highly regarded local artists from the past, Catherine Wiley and Charles Krutch.

Les Amis: How did KMA and KHP join forces on this project?

PJ: Before we began, we consulted with David Butler, KMA’s Executive Director, about the general concept knowing that to be successful we would need help from KMA. David as immediately saw the potential for taking the museum’s treasures out of the museum and sharing them with the public on the city’s streets. KMA provided high resolution images of two initial paintings (by Wiley and Krutch as mentioned above) from its permanent exhibition, Higher Ground: A Century of the Visual Arts in East Tennessee. David’s staff at KMA has been wonderful to work with and we couldn’t have gotten this far without their generous time and support.

Beauford Delaney Untitled Landscape Art Wrap
and Knoxville Sunsphere
Image courtesy of Knoxville History Project

Les Amis: Is the intent to honor all the artists whose works are displayed in Higher Ground?

PJ: Pivotal works from Higher Ground are certainly the cornerstone of Downtown Art Wraps, and so far KHP has installed 14 Downtown Art Wraps, the majority of which are pulled from that exhibition. However, we also feature several Knoxville artworks from other local collections, including McClung Museum, East Tennessee Historical Society, and the Knox County Public Library’s McClung Historical Collection.

As the initiative expands we hope to include as many of the Higher Ground artists as possible. However, several of the paintings included in Higher Ground are on loan to KMA or have some permission restrictions that we haven’t tackled yet. Gaining permission to use any artwork is crucially important to us all.

Artists from Higher Ground currently featured include:

Beauford Delaney
Catherine Wiley
Charles Krutch
Robert Birdwell
C. Kermit “Buck” Ewing
Rudolph Ingerle
Richard Clarke

Les Amis: Who is responsible for deciding whether artists and artworks from private collections are accepted for wraps?

PJ: KHP has created a portfolio of around 20 local artists from KMA and other collections for the program. Many of the artists have multiple artworks which we’ve included in the list. KMA Curator, Stephen Wicks, has also been very helpful in recommending several artworks from Higher Ground which are not currently on display since the exhibit changes from time to time.

In addition, KHP works with KMA and other collection managers to only select artworks where we have permission to include the art and can gain access to high resolution files which are needed to enlarge for the traffic boxes. Occasionally we need additional permissions from other individuals. In the case of Beauford Delaney’s artwork we also sought permission from Mr. Derek Spratley, court appointed administrator for the Beauford Delaney estate.

Les Amis: How are the locations for the wraps selected?

PJ: KHP is primarily focusing on the downtown core of the city which includes approximately 40 traffic boxes which can be wrapped within the central business improvement district’s defined “downtown” area. However, in 2019 KHP will work with the City of Knoxville to add four new Art Wraps beyond downtown on Magnolia Avenue as part of that particular streetscapes improvement project in East Knoxville.

Map showing Downtown Art Wrap locations
(Beauford Delaney Wraps indicated by red arrows)
Screenshot from Knoxville History Project Web site

Les Amis: How long does it take to put a wrap into place once the artist and painting are agreed upon?

PJ: It may seem a straight forward process but some Art Wraps happen quickly, others take months because of delays with permissions for example. However, once we have the artist selected and high resolution artwork in hand it generally takes 2-3 of weeks to install. Steps include drafting the artist’s biography (featured on every box), locating an image of the artist (not always easy to find), and then submitting all the elements to the local company, Graphic Creations, to layout out the Art Wrap on the particular box.

Each traffic box has to be pre-measured before layout can begin. Many of the boxes are different in size and sometimes the boxes are wrapped on three or four sides. This is certainly not a cookie-cutter approach! We have learned that it’s quite a nuanced process, and we try to capture the most important elements of a painting, and where possible to include the artist’s signature in the wrap. Finally, before the wrap enters production, KHP shares the draft design with the sponsor. Installation usually takes two hours per box when the vinyl is ready.

Graphic Creations takes care, when applying the Art Wrap, not to impede air vents and hinges. They use heat to mold the vinyl securely on non-flat surfaces.

Les Amis: How are the wraps financed (municipal funds / corporate sponsors / private donations)?

PJ: KHP seeks financial sponsors for each wrap. To date, Downtown Art Wraps have been sponsored by local businesses, individuals, and organizations (eg. City People). Our attempt is to make them reasonably affordable and so sponsorships are between $1,500 and $1,750 each depending on the size of the traffic box. The revenue provides a source of income for KHP with at least a third of the fee covering production costs.

Les Amis: How easy / difficult has it been to interest the business community in sponsoring wraps?

About half of the Art Wraps have been funded through corporate support. One individual funded three boxes. Downtown Knoxville, the city’s central improvement district, funded three Art Wraps. So it has been a mixture of funding sources. We would like to see more corporations fund the program and help us fulfill our vision of completing 40 Downtown Art Wraps. It has been more difficult to interest the business community more than I thought it would be. Certainly, the response from individuals from the public have all been positive.

Les Amis:
How are the wraps inaugurated?

PJ: KHP held a media event in August of 2017 to officially launch the Downtown Art Wraps program and showcase the first two boxes. (Is this what you meant?)

In addition to the first event, we have been featured on Visit Knoxville’s website:

https://www.visitknoxville.com/listings/downtown-art-wraps/1762/

We had an article featured in “Inside of Knoxville:”

https://insideofknoxville.com/2017/09/downtown-art-wraps-by-the-knoxville-history-project-appear-around-the-city/

Plus, we received a special “Preservation Media” award from one of our partners, Knox Heritage.

We haven’t planned an event for the Beauford Wraps yet but will let you know if we do so.

Screenshot of KHP Interactive Map showing
description and location of Yaddo

Les Amis: How are the wraps maintained?

PJ: KHP works directly with City of Knoxville’s Department of Engineering with installation and to monitor wear and tear, damage, and address graffiti issues. The vinyl includes a graffiti-resistant application, which although not 100% guaranteed, has worked very well so far. City engineers believe that the wraps act as a deterrent. In one case of graffiti, Graphic Creations (the installer) was able to clean off the graffiti quite easily. To date then it’s been fairly hassle-free.

Les Amis: How is a work by a particular artist selected to represent that artist?

PJ: The artworks are generally selected for their compatibility to be reproduced on a traffic box (abstract works work best) as well as their vibrancy and attractiveness in the urban setting. Plus, KHP works directly with its sponsors to help select a piece that they are inspired by from the full list of available works. In several cases, we have matched up an artist with a certain location, including a Lloyd Branson painting near where his former studio was located, or Albert Milani and his marble eagle carving across the street from the Tennessee Supreme Court building adorned with the actual eagle carvings. But the placement of traffic light intersections generally makes tying an artwork to a specific location quite difficult. That said, the Art Wraps seems to work anywhere.

Les Amis: Why were the untitled landscape and Yaddo selected to represent Beauford Delaney?

PJ: These paintings were suggested by KMA as excellent examples of Beauford’s works recently acquired by the museum.

Les Amis:
Untitled Landscape is sponsored by the Knoxville Central Business Improvement District. Who sponsored Yaddo?

Beauford Delaney Yaddo Art Wrap
Image courtesy of Knoxville History Project

PJ: Yaddo was sponsored by residents at the RiverHill Gateway Neighborhood Association who were looking for creative ways to spruce up their street frontage. Diversity was important to them as that location was formerly a diverse and poor riverside shanty community. Just north of there was a section of the former African American community along First Creek – essentially erased during “Urban Renewal” in the 1950s. A Beauford Delaney painting at this location made sense.

Les Amis: Are there any other Beauford Delaney art wraps planned?

PJ: Not immediately but there is at least one more Beauford Delaney painting that we have included in our current selections which may be used in the Magnolia Avenue Art Wraps planned for mid-2019.

Les Amis:
What happens to the wraps after their ~3-year lifespan expires?

PJ: Depending on wear and tear, and fading, the Art Wraps may be left up longer or switched out for different artworks with existing or new sponsors. The initiative can therefore run for years, if not indefinitely.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Auction Results Exceed Expectations: Ahmed Bioud's Beauford Delaney Collection

ADER's sale of 9 lots of Beauford Delaney works from the collection of Ahmed Bioud exceeded the expectations of the auction house!

Jazz Band was the only oil on canvas among the works offered. ADER estimated the sale price as 15,000€ - 20,000€.

Jazz Band
(1965) Oil on canvas
Signed and dated on back
81 x 65 cm
© Estate of Beauford Delaney,
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

This work fetched 134,000€.

Composition, 1962, an oil on paper, was estimated to sell for 3,000€ - 4,000€.

Composition, 1962
(1962) Oil on paper
Signed and dated at bottom right
50 x 65 cm
© Estate of Beauford Delaney,
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

It sold for 17,920€.

The mixed-media work entitled Composition, 1962 was assigned an estimated sale price of 2,000€ - 3,000€.

Composition, 1962
(1962) Mixed media on paper
Signed, dated, and dedicated at bottom right
74 x 53.5 cm
© Estate of Beauford Delaney,
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

It sold for 14,080€.

Composition, 1963, a watercolor, sold for over five times the high end of the estimated sale price range (7680€ versus 1500€).

Composition, 1963
(1963) Watercolor
Signed at bottom right, dated, and
annotated "Souvenir" at bottom left
50 x 33.5 cm
© Estate of Beauford Delaney,
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

And the gouache entitled Composition, 1964 sold for 8320€, while its estimated sale price was 1,000€ - 1,500€.

Composition, 1964
(1964) Gouache
Signed and dated at bottom right
55 x 37 cm
© Estate of Beauford Delaney,
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

The other four works also went for handsome prices, including Lot 78 - a gouache that sold for twelve times the highest estimated sale price.

To see all the results, click HERE All sale prices include a buyer's premium of 28%.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Ahmed Bioud's Beauford Delaney Collection at Auction

Ahmed Bioud became one of Beauford's dearest friends after their meeting at Beauford's solo show at Galerie Paul Facchetti in June 1960. Beauford came to know Bioud's family as well and the Biouds would often invite him to dine with them or to join them when they traveled.


Beauford sketching in Ahmed Bioud's garden
Images courtesy of ADER

Bioud organized the sale of Beauford's Mémoire (1964) to the Musée cantonal des Beaux-Arts in Lausanne, Switzerland and ultimately was named one of the members of the tutelle that the French government organized to look after Beauford's affairs when he was at Sainte-Anne's Hospital.

In light of this close relationship, it is not surprising that Bioud would own several of Beauford's paintings. The Paris auction house ADER has nine Beauford Delaney works from his collection listed for sale during its upcoming Art d'après-guerre & contemporain (Post-war and contemporary art) auction on December 12, 2018.

See a few of them below:

Jazz Band
(1965) Oil on canvas
Signed and dated on back
81 x 65 cm
© Estate of Beauford Delaney,
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator
Estimated sale price: 15,000€ - 20,000€

Composition, 1962
(1962) Oil on paper
Signed and dated at bottom right
50 x 65 cm
© Estate of Beauford Delaney,
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator
Estimated sale price: 3,000€ - 4,000€

Composition, 1962
(1962) Mixed media on paper
Signed, dated, and dedicated at bottom right
74 x 53.5 cm
© Estate of Beauford Delaney,
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator
Estimated sale price: 2,000€ - 3,000€

Composition, 1963
(1963) Watercolor
Signed at bottom right, dated, and
annotated "Souvenir" at bottom left
50 x 33.5 cm
© Estate of Beauford Delaney,
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator
Estimated sale price: 1,200€ - 1,500€

Composition, 1964
(1964) Gouache
Signed and dated at bottom right
55 x 37 cm
© Estate of Beauford Delaney,
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator
Estimated sale price: 1,000€ - 1,500€

The dates for the nine works range from 1962 to 1966, which means that Beauford produced them while he was living at his rue Vercingétorix studio.

To view all the Beauford Delaney paintings for sale (Lots 71-79) and to learn more about the ADER auction, click HERE.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Beauford's Yellow Abstracts are HOT

Yet another yellow Beauford Delaney abstract has sold at a price that far surpassed the estimated sales price.

On November 19, Millon held its "Post War & Art Contemporain" sale at Drouot in Paris. A single Beauford Delaney painting was included in the offerings - a magnificent work that the owner obtained from the Paul Facchetti gallery. It was shown at Beauford's monographic exhibition at the gallery in June-July 1960.

Untitled
(circa 1960) Oil on canvas
Signed at lower right and on back of canvas
84 x 75 cm
© Estate of Beauford Delaney,
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

I visited the Drouot showroom about a month before the sale to see the painting "up close and personal."

Beauford's Untitled at the Drouot showroom
© Discover Paris!

Based on this viewing, I contributed the following text to Millon's catalog for the sale:

Cette oeuvre représente l’éclat pur de l’esprit de Beauford Delaney. Créée pendant ses années à Clamart (1956-1961), elle capte “la lumière interne” que l’artiste cherchait toujours. Pour Delaney, la lumière “détenait le pouvoir d’illuminer, même de sauver, de réconcilier et de guérir.” Il l’utilisait en tant qu’outil afin de repousser les voix intérieures qui le tourmentaient.

Delaney appelait son studio à Clamart «sa place à la campagne». La lumière qu’il aimait et dont il avait besoin pour travailler venait d’une fenêtre donnant sur un jardin à l’arrière de la maison. Comme dans tous ses ateliers, il a recouvert les murs de draps blancs afin d’accentuer la lumière. Le nombre d’oeuvres qu’il a créé dans cet environnement paisible est actuellement inconnu.

La jaune de ce tableau est lumineuse et l’empâtement qui est caractéristique de Delaney est un témoin de l’engagement de l’artiste de “rappeler la sculpture et la structure de couleur.” En regardant cette oeuvre, on peut bien imaginer qu’elle est la lumière.


The English translation of the text is as follows:

This work represents the pure brilliance of Beauford Delaney's spirit. Created during his years at Clamart (1956-1961), it captures "the internal light" for which the artist was always searching. For Delaney, the light "held the power to illuminate, even to save, reconcile and heal." He used it as a tool to repel the inner voices that tormented him.

Delaney called his studio at Clamart "his place in the country." The light he loved and needed for work came from a window overlooking a garden at the back of the house. As in all his studios, he covered the walls with white sheets to accentuate the light. The number of works that he created in this peaceful environment is currently unknown.

The yellow of this painting is luminous and the impasto which is characteristic of Delaney is a witness of the artist's commitment to "remember the sculpture and structure in color." Looking at this work, one can well imagine that it IS light.


Millon estimated the sale price to be between 10,000€ and 15,000€. After a bidding war among ten potential buyers, Untitled sold for 130,000€, including charges (30% buyer's premium and 20% value added tax).



Saturday, November 24, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving from Les Amis!

Les Amis is on holiday this weekend and we hope you are as well.

Look for us next week when we'll have news of yet another sale of Beauford's work.

In the meantime, enjoy this abstract that is bursting with autumn colors!

Untitled (Yellow Abstraction)
(c. 1958-1959) Oil on paper, laid down on canvas
Image courtesy of Aaron Galleries
© Estate of Beauford Delaney,
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Phillips Sells Second Delaney Abstract

Phillips sold a Beauford Delaney abstract for $150,000 during its "New Now" sale on September 26, 2018.

Untitled
Signed, inscribed and dated "Beauford Delaney Paris 1965 midday" on the reverse
(1965) Oil on canvas
25 1/2 x 21 in. (64.8 x 53.3 cm.)
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

On November 14, 2018, it sold a second abstract for $118,750.

Untitled
(1967) Oil on canvas
21 3/4 x 18 in. (55.2 x 45.7 cm.)
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

The estimated sale price for both works was $20,000 to $30,000.

Results from several additional sales show that buyers consider Beauford's work to be worth far more than the prices listed by the auction houses:

Clarke Auctioneers set a record for the sale of Beauford's work when it sold Street Scene for $176,250 at its 5th Annual Fine Art Sale on October 27, 2008. Clarke estimated that the painting would sell for $30,000 to $50,000.

For its Regard sur le XXe siècle #5 Art contemporain & Design sale on April 5, 2014, De Baecque estimated that an untitled oil signed and dedicated "Bon Nassainie Hovard" on the back of the canvas would sell for 600€ to 800€. It sold for 17,000€.

On June 21, 2018, Paysage, 1951 (oilstick on paper) sold for 64,500€ during Cornette de Saint Cyr's Art Contemporain - Art Africain Contemporain sale. Its estimated sale price was 3,000€ to 5,000€.

Two recent sales at Swann Auction Galleries are other examples. Untitled (African Figure) sold for $173,000 at the October 2018 African American Fine Art auction when its estimated sale price was $40,000 to $60,000.

And Untitled (Village Street Scene) sold for $557,000 at Swann's April 2018 African American Fine Art auction when its estimated sale price was $150,000 - $250,000. This sale broke the record set by Clarke in 2008.


Saturday, November 10, 2018

Beauford Moves to New York City

Beauford moved from Boston to New York City in early November 1929. His first stop was Harlem.

Because of a scandalous incident at a rooming house, he lost his belongings - including his portfolio of paintings - within a matter of hours.

Next, he went to Union Square.

"Manhattan: Union Square (East) - 17th Street (East)." 1929.
Irma and Paul Milstein Division of United States History,
Local History and Genealogy,
The New York Public Library
The New York Public Library Digital Collections
(Free use)

The stock market had crashed only days earlier and Beauford witnessed the effect of the crash in the faces and movements of the people milling about the square. He spent his first night on a park bench there and his shoes were stolen while he slept. This was the inauspicious beginning to his twenty-three years in the city.

The next day, Beauford's fortunes reversed considerably. He visited a painter to whom he had been referred by a friend in Boston. This man organized a job interview for Beauford and referred him to someone who could help him find lodging. This resulted in a bellhop position at the Grand Hotel and a room at 241 W 111th Street, just north of Central Park.

"Grand Hotel, (Broadway and 31st Street)."
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs:
Photography Collection, The New York Public Library.
The New York Public Library Digital Collections.
(Free use)

He soon found additional work at Billy Pierce's Dancing School at 225 W 46th Street, near Radio City Music Hall, where he created pastel and charcoal portraits of the school's clients. The Baltimore Afro-American called Pierce's school "the largest studio for stage dancing in the world."

Ad for Billy Pierce's Dancing School

The same painter who helped Beauford find the bellhop position at the Grand Hotel suggested that he pay a visit to the Whitney Studio Galleries and meet Miss Mungo Park. This led to the offer of a slot in a four person show of "Sunday painters" at the galleries, which in turn led to a new job and a studio and living quarters on the premises.

The Whitney show was Beauford's first "big break" in New York with regard to exhibiting his work publicly.

*****

News flash: A Georgia O'Keeffe portrait of Beauford is going to be auctioned by Christie's on November 13. Beauford met O'Keeffe during his New York years. Read the article about the Christie's sale here:

https://www.culturetype.com/2018/11/09/georgia-okeeffe-made-5-portraits-of-beauford-delaney-1-is-for-sale-at-christies/

Read about O'Keeffe's portraits of Beauford here:

https://lesamisdebeauforddelaney.blogspot.com/2010/08/beauford-georgia-okeeffe-portraits.html


Saturday, November 3, 2018

Untitled Yellow Abstract for Auction at Phillips

Phillips (London and New York) is holding a 20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale in New York City on November 14, 2018. During the morning session, the Beauford Delaney abstract shown below will be up for auction.

Untitled
(1967) Oil on canvas
21 3/4 x 18 in. (55.2 x 45.7 cm.)
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

The notes on the sales page indicate that Beauford created this work in 1967 and that the current owner received the painting from Larry Calcagno.

In a letter that Beauford wrote to Calcagno in August of that year, he talks of the "amazingly beautiful" light that he experienced during a recent visit to Carcassonne and Narbonne with a friend. He shares that though returning to Paris was difficult, some of the sun and light that he saw during the trip appeared in his canvases. He also says:

... there has been a flow and release in me which has entered my work. I feel happy to announce this to you ... While the number of canvases are modest in number [sic] they have come from the source.

While there is no indication as to when during the year Beauford painted Untitled, one can well imagine that he created this work in the aftermath of the trip he described. Small splotches of blue and gray and green seem to peek out through shining white overlaid by a juxtaposition of bold and soft yellows highlighted with rose or peach. The cooler pigments are no match for the power and radiance of the light that he represents with yellow and white.

The estimated sale price for Untitled is $20,000 to $30,000. But collectors who looking to acquire Beauford's work need to be prepared to spend considerably more for this painting.

For its "New Now" sale on September 26, 2018, Phillips estimated that another of Beauford's yellow abstracts, painted in 1965, would sell in the same price range.

Untitled
Signed, inscribed and dated "Beauford Delaney Paris 1965 midday" on the reverse
(1965) Oil on canvas
25 1/2 x 21 in. (64.8 x 53.3 cm.)
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

It fetched a handsome $150,000 (including a 25% buyer's premium*).

To request additional information about the 1967 painting or to register to bid during the November 14 auction, click on the following link: Lot 208: BEAUFORD DELANEY - Untitled

*At auction, there are two prices--the hammer price, or the price at which the item sells during the auction, and the price with the buyer's premium. All auction houses have a buyer's premium that the buyer pays to the auction house in addition to the hammer price.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Beauford at the 2018 Carnegie International

Beauford's Portrait of Tillie S. Speyer is currently on display at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Portrait of Tillie S. Speyer
(1968) Oil on canvas
Carnegie Museum of Art
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

It was selected by Cameroon-born, Senegal-based independent exhibition-maker Koyo Kouoh to be a part of "Dig Where You Stand," a show-within-a-show organized for the 2018 Carnegie International exhibition. Kouoh perused the collections of the Carnegie Museum and the neighboring Natural History Museum for her exhibition, which journalist Andrew Russeth calls "a Wunderkammer of art and artifacts focused on labor, colonialism, and depictions of power." She has placed Beauford's portrait of Speyer between a photograph of a young Queen Elizabeth II and one of Puerto Rican lacemakers.

Pittsburgh native Tillie Speyer was a painter and a sculptor. She was the mother of Darthea Speyer, Beauford's friend and patron in Paris. Beauford captured the likeness of Tillie as well as those of her daughter Darthea and son James on canvas during the 1960s. The museum acquired the painting of Tillie Speyer from Darthea Speyer.

Organized by Andrew Carnegie in 1896, the Carnegie International is the oldest recurring exhibition of contemporary art in the United States. After the Venice Biennale, it is the oldest international survey exhibition in the world. The 2018 edition of the exhibition runs through March 25, 2019.


Saturday, October 20, 2018

Classes Duo Paris / Knoxville - Knoxville students' excursion to Paris a HUGE success! - Part 2

In last week's post, I shared information about the first half of the Paris excursion for the Knoxville students who are participating in the Classes Duo cultural exchange program.

Here's what happened next!

On the morning of Wednesday, October 10, I led the majority of the Nature's Way parents and children on a tour of Beauford's Montparnasse.

Gathering for the walking tour
© Wells International Foundation

As we walked in Beauford's footsteps, I talked about his life in the neighborhood, his burial at the cemetery in Thiais, and how I learned about his story and eventually founded Les Amis de Beauford Delaney to raise the money to place a tombstone at his grave.

That afternoon, Jean Zay and Nature's Way students visited the Centre Pompidou, France's national museum of modern and contemporary art.

Nature's Way families arrive at Centre Pompidou
© Wells International Foundation

Jean Zay students arrive at Centre Pompidou
© Wells International Foundation

Each group had a guide who spoke to the children in their native language. The guide for the Nature's Way kids began her presentation with a discussion about how modern and contemporary art are defined.

Nature's Way students with their guide
© Wells International Foundation

I tagged along with the French group and observed how their guide engaged the children with questions about paintings and sculptures by Fernand Leger, Pablo Picasso, and Constantin Brancusi.

Jean Zay students ponder a painting by Fernand Leger
© Wells International Foundation

The Knoxville students' parents enjoyed an unguided visit to the museum at the same time.

From the Pompidou Center, I led everyone over to the Galerie Intemporel, where owner Laurence Choko showed them six Beauford Delaney paintings and works on paper.

Arriving at Galerie Intemporel
© Wells International Foundation

Left to right: Laurence Choko and Monique Y. Wells
© Wells International Foundation

Laurence Choko shows Beauford Delaney works
© Wells International Foundation

Jean Zay students with Beauford Delaney portrait
© Wells International Foundation
Portrait of Vasilli Pikoula
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

That evening, several Nature's Way students slept over at the homes of French families.

On the morning of Thursday, October 11, all the Nature's Way families converged on Jean Zay Elementary School to be welcomed by the school's director, teachers, and entire student body.

Welcome assembly at Jean Zay Elementary School
© Wells International Foundation

The school provided a continental breakfast for the visitors and everyone got a tour of the facilities. Several French parents attended the breakfast to make the acquaintance of the American parents.

Breakfast
© Wells International Foundation

Nature's Way students in Jean Zay library
(the Zoom videoconference room)
© Wells International Foundation

The Nature's Way kids attended class with the French students for the duration of the morning, followed by lunch in the school canteen. They were fortunate to visit the school during La Semaine du Goût (Taste Week), a time when French children learn about the wide variety of French and international culinary traditions and learn how to appreciate cuisine. On the menu that day: Petit Salé aux Lentilles - a meat and lentil dish from the Auvergne region of France.

Once the students set off for class, I led a second walking tour of Beauford's Montparnasse for the parents who did not attend the walk on Wednesday morning. We returned to the school in time for the parents to pick their children up after lunch. Their afternoon was free.

On Friday, October 12, the morning was reserved for sightseeing in Montmartre. During the afternoon, everyone returned to Jean Zay Elementary School for the farewell pot, or reception. Juliette Blache, who has organized the video conferences for Jean Zay since the inception of the program, created an exhibition of the portraits the students created on Tuesday afternoon. She presented a slide show of photos of the week's activities that she accompanied with audio from Beauford's playlist. Everyone enjoyed this trip down what was quickly becoming "memory lane."

Watching the slide show
© Wells International Foundation

The entire group then moved to a large activity room for a French goûter (after-school snack) consisting of a variety of cookies, cakes, and juices.

Enjoying refreshments at the farewell reception
© Wells International Foundation

The students played hand games and collected snail mail addresses. Jean Zay children signed a soccer ball for one of the Nature's Way kids. Children hugged. Parents and teachers marveled at the harmony and energy the kids displayed and provided written testimonials about what this excursion has meant to their children and to them.

Farewell reception collage
© Wells International Foundation

After saying their goodbyes, the Nature's Way families enjoyed an evening consisting of dinner at an Alsatian restaurant, a visit to the Arc de Triomphe, and a stroll down the Champs Elysées. They returned to Knoxville on Saturday, October 13.

Overall, the trip was a RESOUNDING SUCCESS! Discussion about organizing a trip for the Jean Zay children to Knoxville is now underway.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Classes Duo Paris / Knoxville - Knoxville students' excursion to Paris a HUGE success! - Part 1

The Classes Duo Paris / Knoxville program that has steadily gained momentum since January 2018 has reached a critical milestone. The students from Nature's Way Montessori School in Knoxville realized a dream when they came to Paris to spend eight days discovering the city and meeting their French counterparts at the Jean Zay Elementary School.

The Knoxville kids and their families arrived on Friday, October 5th and kicked off their trip with an outdoor reception at the Jardin Atlantique in the 14th arrondissement. This man-made garden lies atop the Montparnasse train station. It is only a few blocks from Jean Zay Elementary School.

Nature's Way children at Jardin Atlantique
© Wells International Foundation

Enjoying the garden
© Wells International Foundation

Parents, grandparents, kids, and organizers having a good time
© Wells International Foundation

Saturday and Sunday were reserved for sightseeing and whatever rest the families could muster, given their anticipation of what was planned for the coming week.

On Monday, October 8th, five days of activity with the Jean Zay students began. That evening, the town hall of the 14th arrondissement welcomed the families from Jean Zay and Nature's Way with a reception to open the art exhibition of the students' work. This was held in the Salle de Mariage, the room where civil wedding ceremonies are performed.

Families seated in the Salle de Mariage
© Wells International Foundation

Featured were mixed media works by the Nature's Way children about traveling from Knoxville to Paris,

Nature's Way mixed-media works about travel to Paris
© Wells International Foundation

figurative portraits of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and copies of Beauford's portrait of Charlie Parker by the Nature's Way children,

Nature's Way portraits of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
© Wells International Foundation

Nature's Way works inspired by Charlie Parker (1968)
© Wells International Foundation

abstract works inspired by Beauford's Greece by the Nature's Way children,

Nature's Way works inspired inspired by Greece (1967)
© Wells International Foundation

abstract works inspired by Beauford's Les Embruns and an untitled abstract by Beauford by the Jean Zay children,

Jean Zay works inspired by Les Embruns (1963)
© Wells International Foundation

Jean Zay works inspired by untitled abstract
© Wells International Foundation

abstract works copied from Beauford's Untitled (Trees) by students at both schools,

Jean Zay (left) and Nature's Way (right) students' copies of Untitled (Trees)
© Wells International Foundation

and red clay busts of Josephine Baker by the Jean Zay children.

Jean Zay students' busts of Josephine Baker and
works inspired by Les Embruns (1963)
© Wells International Foundation

The kids met each other for the first time and got along smashingly well!

Nature's Way and Jean Zay students at town hall
© Wells International Foundation

On Tuesday, October 9th, the children met at Jean Zay for a portrait session. One child from each school sat opposite the other at a desk and sketched, then painted, the other student's portrait. The educators who supervised this activity were stunned by the silence and intense concentration that the students exhibited during this exercise!

Portrait session - Chaïness and Sarah
© Wells International Foundation

Portrait session - Andrew and Timothée
© Wells International Foundation

Portrait session - Mia and Aurlane
© Wells International Foundation

MaKenna by Iris
© Wells International Foundation

Read about the rest of the week's activities by clicking HERE.