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 29, 2014

Visiting Thiais Cemetery - Part 1

I visited Thiais Cemetery last week, just a few days before the 35th anniversary of Beauford's death.

A new tramway (T7) now runs past the cemetery, making the trip from central Paris faster, easier, and more pleasant than ever before. I documented the route to encourage those of you who would like to make the trip but are hesitant to do so because the cemetery is located outside the Paris city limits.

The route is simple. Take metro line 7, direction Villejuif, to the end of the line.

Metro stops indicated on panel above door on metro Line 7
© Discover Paris!

Follow the signs to the sortie (exit) for avenue de Stalingrad.

Sign on quay indicating avenue de Stalingrad exit
© Discover Paris!

Sign indicating avenue de Stalingrad exit
© Discover Paris!

Close-up of sign indicating avenue de Stalingrad exit
© Discover Paris!

Take the escalator to leave the station.

Escalator to avenue de Stalingrad exit
© Discover Paris!

The tram runs directly in front of the metro station. The shelter is located across the track and slightly to the left. Walk across the track (being careful to look for traffic before you cross) to board the tram. Take the train going in the direction of Athis Mons...

and exit at the stop called Auguste Perret.

Tram stops indicated on panel above door on T7
© Discover Paris!

Panel indicating next tram stop on ceiling of T7
© Discover Paris!

The cemetery is behind a cement wall across the busy route de Fontainebleau.

Cemetery beyond route de Fontainebleau
© Discover Paris!

Next week, I'll share photos of the cemetery itself.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Beauford's Gravesite on Thiais Cemetery "Celebrity" List

As a follow-up to the letter that Les Amis de Beauford Delaney received in July 2013, indicating that Beauford's grave would be preserved in perpetuity by the City of Paris at Thiais Cemetery, we have received the recently revised map of the cemetery. Beauford's gravesite is cited on the list of "most visited" graves. It's actually the first site noted on the list!

Map of Thiais Cemetery and list of most visited graves

Beauford’s grave is located in Division 86. It is in the second row, Tomb number 45.

Les Amis once again acknowledges Mme Marilyn Pin, deputy director of the cemetery, for her efforts in making this happen. Thanks to her, Beauford's grave will remain intact at Thiais Cemetery unless members of his family deem otherwise.

To read more about the cemetery, click HERE.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Beauford's Paris: Saint Anne's Hospital - Part 2

Last week I shared some photos of the grounds of Saint Anne's Hospital, which was Beauford's last residence prior to his death.

Saint Anne's provides cutting edge therapy in the fields of psychiatry and neuroscience today. I want to share some information about the institution's history and its current status within the city of Paris with you in this post.

Insignia - Saint Anne's Hospital
© Discover Paris!

The Centre Hospitalier Sainte Anne is built on land that has served as a hospital since the 13th century. Marguerite de Provence, wife of King Louis IX (Saint Louis) had a "health house" (maison de santé) constructed on the property. Anne d'Autriche, wife of Louis XIII and mother of the "Sun King," Louis XIV, built the first true hospital here. The current facility owes its name to her - it was originally called Saint Anne's farm.

In 1863, Napoleon III decided that a psychiatric hospital should be built here. He assigned the edification of the facility to Baron Haussmann, the same man who is largely responsible for Paris' current urban design. Haussmann placed architect Charles-Auguste Questel in charge of the project and work proceeded over a period of four years. Most of the buildings that were put into service in 1867 still exist and constitute the architectural patrimony of the hospital.

Questel's original layout
© Discover Paris!

Saint Anne's was inscribed on the list of historical monuments in France on November 26, 1979, just over a month before Beauford died.

The campus covers 13 hectares (32 acres), with over seven hectares (17 acres) of protected green space.

Courtyard flanked by trees and flower beds
© Discover Paris!

The principal thoroughfare is being renovated to respect as much of Questel's original layout as possible: on site parking is being minimized; flower beds, gardens, and esplanades are being re-established; and original ground cover is being restored.

Over 40 "remarkable trees," complete with signage that presents genus, species, and land of origin, dot the campus and dozens of new trees are scheduled to be planted. Over 10 botanical trails are envisioned as well.

Bird house and flowering trees
© Discover Paris!

A small public park can be found near the main entrance on rue Cabanis.

Parc Charles Baudelaire
© Discover Paris!

The most attractive views of buildings and the best piece of sculpture on the grounds can be found in the Cour Maurice Ravel.

View of Cour Maurice Ravel
© Discover Paris!

New buildings (including social housing) are being constructed, but they are relegated to the periphery of the campus. The older buildings are being completely refurbished inside so that the facilities are completely modern.

Pavilion Benjamin Ball under restoration
© Discover Paris!

All aspects of the design are being undertaken with the intent to maintain Saint Anne's as an integral part of the fabric of the surrounding neighborhood.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Beauford's Paris: Saint Anne's Hospital - Part 1

Beauford spent the last 3 1/2 years of his life at the Centre Hospitalier Sainte Anne (Saint Anne's Hospital) in Paris' 14th arrondissement. I had the opportunity to visit the grounds just a few days ago.

Centre Hospitalier Sainte Anne - Main Entrance
© Discover Paris!

I was surprised to find that Saint Anne's feels more like a college campus than a hospital. There are numerous benches for sitting and relaxing...

Parc Charles Baudelaire
© Discover Paris!

stand-alone buildings...

Esquirol, Magnan, and Morel Pavilions
© Discover Paris!

courtyards complete with statuary...

Central Pharmacy and Maurice Ravel courtyard
© Discover Paris!

and covered walkways.

Intersection of covered walkways
© Discover Paris!

A large 19th-century chapel can be found behind the pharmacy.

© Discover Paris!

With newly planted flower beds and sprays of daffodil and crocus dotting the lawns, my stroll through the grounds on that warm spring day was altogether pleasant!

© Discover Paris!

Next week, I'll bring you information on the history of the hospital, the protected green spaces on the grounds, and additional photos.

Insignia - Saint Anne's Hospital
© Discover Paris!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Higher Ground: Artist Spotlight on Beauford at the Knoxville Museum of Art

The Knoxville Museum of Art (KMA) is placing an "Artist Spotlight" on Beauford by displaying a small collection of his work through June 2014. Called Higher Ground, the spotlight features six works from several collections. Two of these paintings and the descriptions that accompany them in the exposition are shown below.

Distant Horizons
(1952) Oil on canvas
16 x 20 inches
Larry and Brenda Thompson Collection
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

By the early 1950s, Beauford Delaney became determined to pursue his dream of moving from New York to Paris. In order to prepare for the move, he made arrangements in June of 1953 to store the paintings in his studio at 713 Broadway with various friends. Delaney’s friends also organized a fund-raiser to help finance the trip. The door prize was Delaney's recent painting, Distant Horizons.

(1963) Watercolor on paper
32 ½ x 26 ½ inches
Tennessee State Museum, Nashville
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

By the time he left for Paris in 1953, Delaney was already well along a path of experimentation with abstraction, which would become the dominant mode of his work for the remainder of his career. Although he continued to produce portraits and landscapes, the central subject of his work became luminous color applied with explosive brushwork in a manner that consumed all references to the visible world.


The Knoxville Museum of Art has worked diligently to call attention to the artistic accomplishments of both brothers by hosting or organizing such exhibitions as Beauford Delaney: An Introduction (1997), Joseph Delaney: Works on Paper (2002), Beauford Delaney: From New York to Paris (2005). Since February 2013, the KMA has also served as the repository for the contents of the estate of Beauford Delaney. In exchange, the estate has made available to the KMA key works for display and possible acquisition. The KMA wishes to acknowledge the estate and its key role in this special display.

At present, the KMA collection does not include any works by Beauford Delaney. Acquiring a significant group of his paintings is one of the KMA’s primary acquisitions goals.

For more information, contact:

Stephen C. Wicks
Barbara W. and Bernard E. Bernstein Curator
1050 World's Fair Park Drive
Knoxville, TN 37916