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Saturday, May 8, 2021

Beauford Delaney Research Grant - Part 2

Beauford Delaney
1953 - Carl Van Vechten

Last week, I posted Part 1 of my interview with France Nerlich, Director of Studies and Research Department at the Institut national d'histoire de l'art (INHA). INHA is one of the collaborative partners for the new Beauford Delaney Research Grant - the Bourse Beauford Delaney - that was announced to the world on April 21, 2021.

The grant funds travel and other expenses related to research projects on African-American art undertaken by France-based academics and scholars. The awardee can travel to the United States to work in archives, museums, libraries and possibly to meet with artists.

Here's Part 2 of the interview.

Les Amis: Was Beauford Delaney the only artist whose name was considered for the grant?

FN:As Eric de Chassey is a scholar whose specialty is post-WWII US art, Delaney's name naturally came to his mind while we were thinking of the name we would like to give to the grant.

Les Amis: What knowledge or experience does the team that conceived of the grant have regarding Beauford's work?

FN: Though de Chassey hadn't written much on Delaney, he had seen many of Delaney's works in U.S. museums, galleries and private collections. He knew the Delaney bibliography, had spent time speaking about him with Sue Canterbury when she was preparing her exhibition for the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. He deeply admires the artist, who still deserves to be better known - especially in France, where he chose to live. As the personality and work of Beauford Delaney seem to perfectly represent/encapsulate the aim of the grant, the team accepted de Chassey's proposal with enthusiasm.

Les Amis: How was the jury selected?

FN: For the composition of the jury, we wanted to solicit French and American experts, including specialists in African-American art. The INHA team and the Cultural Services team made several proposals for members. We chose according to the candidates' approaches and fields to guarantee a true diversity of views within the jury.

We are very grateful to our two qualified personalities for agreeing, almost at the drop of a hat, to join our jury, Anne Lafont, professor at the Ecole des hautes études en sciences sociales (Paris) and Richard J. Powell, John Spencer Bassett Distinguished Professor of Art and Art History at Duke University.

Now, we are all very much looking forward to reading the applications and to announce the winner in early June in conjunction with a special occasion -- the 10th edition of our international Festival de l’histoire de l’art (Art History Festival) that takes places yearly in Fontainebleau!

Announcements about the Beauford Delaney Research Grant are posted online in English and in French.

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