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Saturday, January 16, 2021

The Delaney Brothers: Lives in Art

During Black History Month, the University of Tennessee Downtown Gallery will show works by Beauford and his brother, Joseph, in an exhibition entitled The Delaney Brothers: Lives In Art.  It is being mounted just over twenty years after what was to have been a joint October-November 1970 exhibition opened at the McClung Gallery on UTK's campus. 

 Promotional image from UT Downtown Gallery Website

Due to Beauford's increasing mental instability, he was unable to fulfill his commitment to send paintings to Knoxville, and the show became a solo exhibition for Joseph. 

Beauford's biographer, David Leeming, and Joseph's biographer, Frederick Moffatt, devote 2-3 pages to this event in their respective publications. 

Leeming describes the prospect of creating and shipping the artwork and making the voyage to Knoxville to attend the exhibition as overwhelming for Beauford. He quotes from a letter sent to Joseph in which Beauford praises Joseph's work and explains why he was unable to contribute to the show: 

"My health is good considering all things but I must be careful and many things I would like to do must wait until my condition is more composed." 

Moffatt also quotes passages from the letter, focusing more on the congratulatory nature of the missive: 

"Your time has arrived as it should be, you have not only lifted the Delaneys but also you [have given] to Paris something for your brother Beauford." 

From Leeming, we learn that Joseph sent Beauford photos of the exhibition. 

From Moffatt, we learn that the show was Joseph's first major retrospective and that it consisted of thirty-three paintings and eight drawings.  

Delaney Brothers: Lives in Art will open on Friday, February 5 with a reception hosted by the university from 5 PM to 8 PM. It will be open for viewing on Wednesdays through Fridays from 11:00 AM - 6:00 PM, and on Saturdays from 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM through February 27, 2021. 

There is no cost to attend - entry is free. 

UT Downtown Gallery
106 S. Gay Street
Knoxville TN 37902
Contact: Mike Berry
Telephone: 865-673-0802

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