Les Amis de Beauford Delaney is supporting the completion of


the first full-length documentary about Beauford.

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



Saturday, March 20, 2021

Les Amis Celebrates Women's History Month - Part 3

During this first celebration of Women's History Month on the Les Amis blog, I've brought you images of Beauford's mom, Delia, and images of two renowned singers whose images Beauford captured on canvas. 

Today, I am sharing images of two little known works in which Beauford portrayed an icon of African-American and women's history: Harriet Tubman. 

The first work is a pencil sketch that appears in a book called Unsung Americans Sung, which was edited by W. C. Handy and published in 1944.

Harriet Tubman
Pencil sketch
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

It was likely inspired by the photograph shown below:

 Harriet Tubman (1911), full-length portrait,
seated in chair, facing front,
probably at her home in Auburn, New York
Source: Library of Congress
Public Domain

The second is a work on paper, most recently shown at the Transcending Race and Time exhibition at the University of Tennessee (UT) Downtown Gallery in Knoxville.

Portrait of Harriet Tubman at the UT Downtown Gallery
(1953) Mixed Media on Paper
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

A black and white image of this work appears in David Leeming's biography entitled Amazing Grace: A Life of Beauford Delaney

In Amazing Grace, the portrait is (mis)labeled as Delia Delaney, as shown in the image above. 

The reasoning behind the assertion that the label in the book is incorrect is as follows: 

1) The Beauford Delaney estate has recorded the name of the work as Harriet Tubman

2) The person in the work looks very much like Harriet Tubman and not very much like Delia Delaney. 

Harriet Tubman (1895)
Horatio Seymour Squyer
National Portrait Gallery
Public Domain

Harriet Tubman's birth year has never definitively been established (c. 1820), but we know that she died on March 10, 1913.

To learn more about this famous abolitionist and women's suffragist, click HERE.

No comments: