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, April 27, 2019

Beauford at Notre Dame Cathedral

In the wake of the devastating news about the fire that ravaged Notre Dame Cathedral last week, I'm sharing links to two Les Amis blog posts that talk about Beauford at Notre Dame.

Beauford and Emery: The Delaney Brothers at Notre Dame Cathedral

Beauford's Paris: Notre Dame Cathedral and Fauré's Requiem

I'm also sharing several photos of the cathedral that Discover Paris! (now Entrée to Black Paris) has taken over the years.

Notre Dame viewed from square René Viviani
© Discover Paris!

© Discover Paris!

Notre Dame viewed from quai de Montebello
© Discover Paris!

Arch of central portal and gargoyles
© Discover Paris!

Notre Dame viewed from rue Saint Julien le Pauvre
© Discover Paris!

"Point Zero" for France is located in the square in front of Notre Dame. The number of miles to any place in the country is measured from this spot.

Point Zero
© Discover Paris!

The cathedral of "Our Lady" will be rebuilt!

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Beauford's Post-War Art

Within the last six months, Beauford's work has been sold at two auctions whose titles reference the Post-war (WWII) period: Christie's Post-war to Present sale and Ader Nordmann's Art d'après-guerre & contemporain (Post-war and contemporary art) sale.

I recently came across an archival Web site for a major exhibition entitled Postwar: Art Between the Pacific and the Atlantic, 1945-1965, which delved extensively into what transpired in the art world in the aftermath of World War II. The site describes the exhibition as
"an in-depth, global study, the exhibition shows painting, sculpture, installation, collage, performance, film, artist books, documents, photography, in total more than 350 works by 218 artists from 65 countries."

I was pleased to find that two of Beauford's paintings were included in this show, which ran from October 14, 2016 through March 26, 2017. It was held at Haus der Kunst in Munich, Germany.

One of the works was a portrait of James Baldwin, currently held at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Portrait of James Baldwin
(1945) Oil on canvas
Philadelphia Museum of Art
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

The other was a yellow abstract held by the Michael Rosenfeld Gallery.

(c.1958) Oil on canvas
signed and dated
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator
Image courtesy of Michael Rosenfeld Gallery LLC, New York, NY

The exhibition was divided into eight chapters and the artists whose works were shown were listed in one or more of these chapters. Beauford's name was listed in the chapters "Form Matters" and "New Images of Man."

The essay for the chapter entitled "Form Matters" indicates that the exhibition
"emphasizes the affinity of ideas and materials among artists who emigrated to the U.S. from Europe. It also documents the encounters of artists from around the world who gathered in such metropolitan centers as Paris, London, and Mexico City; and reviews the proximity and circulation of art works in international exhibitions and small press publications."

The essay that describes "New Images of Man" indicates that
"Philosophers and artists sought to inquire more deeply into human nature itself, in debates that included the discourses of négritude and existentialism, and the rights of individuals and groups within larger (often oppressive) social and political entities. 'New Images' features pictorial versions of such inquiries, in which humans often appear battered, deformed by the horror of modern life, rent by the question of their own value."

In visiting the Web pages that present the works included in each chapter, I found an image of Beauford's abstract in the "Form Matters" section.

However, the image of his portrait of James Baldwin was included in the chapter called "Realisms." The essay for this section focuses primarily on art produced in socialist / communist countries, but it also mentions that the section includes "ideologically programmatic art by such U.S. artists as Norman Rockwell, who was associated with realist rendering and popular audiences."

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Another Beauford Abstract Sells at Auction

Help us finalize the first full-length documentary about Beauford and screen it at this year's Cannes Film Festival!
Click on the following link to give:
Cannes Screening for Beauford Delaney Documentary


Swann Auction Galleries held its spring African-American Fine Art Sale on April 4. Three Beauford Delaney works were made available for purchase.

Untitled (Still Life) is an exquisite example of Beauford's early work and is one of the rare still lifes that he is known to have created. In 1932, the year from which this work dates, a reviewer described his work as displaying "careful, deliberate draughtsmanship."

Untitled (Still Life)
(1932) Color pastels on green wove paper
584x419 mm; 23x16 1/2 inches
Signed and dated in pastel, lower right
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

The estimated sale price for this piece was set at $25,000 - $30,000.

Beauford created the untitled abstract shown below in 1963. In Amazing Grace, biographer David Leeming indicates that Beauford was especially inspired to paint that spring and summer.

Untitled (Red and Yellow Composition)
(1963) Watercolor and pencil on thin wove paper
660x508 mm; 12 1/2x9 1/2 inches. Signed and dated in ink, lower right
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

Untitled (Red and Yellow Composition), which was once owned by James and Gloria Jones, was shown in the Studio Museum in Harlem exhibition entitled Collected. Propositions on the Permanent Collection in 2009. Its estimated sale price was $6,000 - $9,000.

The final Beauford Delaney work offered for sale was Portrait of a Bearded Young Man Reading, dated 1971-1972. Leeming describes the portraiture from this period as being "vehicles for Beauford's concern with color and the production of light" and says that Beauford's purpose in painting portraits during this time seemed to have been more about celebrating the art of painting itself than about portraying the inner essence of his subjects.

Portrait of a Bearded Young Man Reading

(1971-72) Oil on linen canvas
647x546 mm; 25 1/2x21 1/4 inches
Signed and dated "1972" in pencil, lower left
Signed and dated "1971" in pencil, lower right
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

The estimated sale price for this painting was $7,000 - $10,000.

Untitled (Red and Yellow Composition) was the only work that sold during the auction. It fetched a hammer price of $17,000, which increased to $21,250 with the addition of the buyer's premium*.

*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. The buyer’s premium for items purchased directly through Swann is 25%. Swann Auction Galleries now reports the "hammer price" and the price that include the buyer's premium in its online catalog.

Saturday, April 6, 2019

KMA Mounts Classes Duo Paris / Knoxville Exhibition

On April 2, the Knoxville Museum of Art (KMA) opened an exhibition of works by the children who are participating in the Classes Duo Paris / Knoxville cultural exchange program based on Beauford's life and art.

Knoxville Museum of Art
© Wells International Foundation

In October 2018, participants in the program from Knoxville's Nature's Way Montessori School and their families visited Paris and had their works shown at an exhibition at the town hall of the 14th arrondissement (district) alongside those of their Paris counterparts from Jean Zay Elementary School.

Jean Zay (left) and Nature's Way (right) students' copies of
Untitled (Trees)
at the Mairie of the 14th arrondissement
© Wells International Foundation

Educators from Nature's Way also made the trip to Paris and brought works by the Jean Zay students back to Knoxville for the KMA exhibition.

The students' works will be displayed from April 2-June 23, 2019. The students' and parents' reception will take place on Sunday, April 28.

Jean Zay portraits of Beauford Delaney (left)
and Nature's Way portraits of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (right)
at the Knoxville Museum of Art
© Dawn Kunkel

This may well be the first time that elementary school children's art from a single project has been exhibited on both sides of the Atlantic!