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, January 25, 2020

What's on in Knoxville - Through the Unusual Door and More

Following last week's article about the preparations that Knoxville is making to celebrate Beauford during February 2020, I'm providing details about events organized in conjunction with the Knoxville Museum of Art (KMA) exhibition entitled Beauford Delaney and James Baldwin: Through the Unusual Door and sharing news about an additional event.

Knoxville Museum of Art
© Discover Paris!

I will attend a private preview of the exhibition prior to the public opening that is scheduled for Friday, February 7. That evening, KMA has scheduled a musical “Tribute to Bob Marley” for its Alive After Five program performed by the roots reggae group, Natti Love Joys. The festivities will begin at 6 PM. Tickets will be made available on site beginning at 4:45 PM; KMA members can attend for free.

On Saturday, February 8, the museum's Family Fun Day will celebrate the exhibition beginning at 11 AM. Art activities, artist demonstrations, door prizes, face painting, and more will be offered to the public at no charge.

For information about both events, send e-mail to .

Dr. Maurita Poole, Director of the Clark Atlanta University Art Museum, will talk about the university's "Delaney and Baldwin Collection" during a KMA Cocktails & Conversation session on February 25, 2020. This event is free and open to the public.

Dr. Poole is one of twelve curators selected to participate in the 2020 Center for Curatorial Leadership Fellowship program.

On February 16, Black in Appalachia is sponsoring a free screening of a short documentary called "Beauford Delaney" at The Bottom, 202 Randolph Street.

Promotional image for "Beauford Delaney"
East Tennessee PBS short documentary

The public is invited to a post-screening discussion at the same address, during which refreshments will be served. Children are welcome to attend the event.

"Beauford Delaney" will also air on East Tennessee PBS on the following dates:

- Thursday, February 6 at 8:30 PM ET
- Sunday, February 9 at 6:30 PM ET
- Sunday, February 16 at 10:30 AM ET

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Beauford's Ever Expanding Legacy

2020 is going to be a phenomenal year for the expansion of Beauford's legacy!

Momentum for The Delaney Project (Gathering Light) in Knoxville is increasing and preparations for major events that will take place in February are well underway.

Banners bearing Beauford's image will be hung on city streets.

Beauford Delaney Banner
Image courtesy of Sylvia Peters,
The Delaney Project

Banners have already been posted for the James Baldwin - Beauford Delaney symposium entitled "In a Speculative Light" that will be held at the University of Tennessee Knoxville.

Photo courtesy of Amy J. Elias, Ph.D.
Director, University of Tennessee Humanities Center

They feature a pastel portrait of Baldwin done by Beauford in 1944, which is currently held by the Knoxville Museum of Art (KMA). These banners were created by Beauvais Lyons (Art, University of Tennessee) and UT Communications and supported by the UTK Chancellor, Donde Plowman.

Portrait of James Baldwin
(1944) Pastel on paper
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

KMA has posted information about the solo exhibition of Beauford's work that will open on February 7.

Beauford Delaney and James Baldwin: Through the Unusual Door

Farther afield, Vulture (of New York Magazine) has published a brilliant article written by Jerry Saltz entitled

Beauford Delaney, Black and Gay, Very Nearly Disappeared from Art History

I'll bring you more details about the February activities scheduled for the Delaney Project in the coming weeks.

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Keeping Beauford's Tombstone Beautiful

Since the laying of Beauford's tombstone during the summer of 2010, I have visited Thiais Cemetery many times.

My most poignant experiences there took place in the company of others:

During the graveside ceremony that celebrated the laying of the stone in October 2010

Graveside ceremony
© Discover Paris!

and when I took playwright Silver Wainhouse to the gravesite in 2017.

Silver Wainhouse at Beauford's Gravesite
© Discover Paris!

I also proudly visited Beauford's grave in 2014, the year that Thiais Cemetery added his gravesite to its celebrity list.

Map of Thiais Cemetery and list of most visited graves

This year (2020) marks the 10th anniversary of the laying of the stone!

Through the generous donations of individuals, Les Amis de Beauford Delaney has paid for the upkeep of Beauford's tombstone. These funds have been almost completely depleted.

So today, I'm asking for your help to keep Beauford's grave pristine - to keep it in a condition that reflects his inestimable contributions to the art world and to humanity.

The annual maintenance fee for the tombstone has increased 15% over the last 10 years. In 2020, the cost is 140,92€.

Les Amis seeks to raise enough money to cover the maintenance fees for the next ten years. To allow for inflation, our target is 1650€.

We'd like to raise this amount by March 26, 2020, the 41st anniversary of Beauford's death.

Please give to support this cause by clicking on the donate button below!

Thanks in advance for your support!

Saturday, January 4, 2020

January 1957 - Battling the Voices of Despair

"Painting is tremendously physical and vital and naturally calls for all your mental and physical strength and devotion."

Beauford wrote these words to his friend Larry Wallrich in a letter dated January 8, 1957.

In the same letter, he wrote that he had been withdrawn for the past several months and wanted "somehow to even withdraw more, as deep introspection and [the] search for me is vitally necessary."

This information comes from David Leeming's biography, Amazing Grace: A Life of Beauford Delaney. Leeming reports that Beauford suffered an emotional crisis involving the resurfacing of his "inner voices of despair" at the end of 1956 and disappeared for several days. When it passed, he returned to painting "with new energy."

1957 was the year that Beauford produced what I consider to be his most masterful abstract expressionist work. Untitled (1957) is part of the Centre Pompidou collection and was displayed during Multiple Modernities 1905-1970 exhibition (also called Plural Modalities) at the museum from October 2013 to January 2015.

Monique and Beauford's Untitled
(1957) Oil on canvas
114,2 x 162 cm / 44.9 x 63.8 in
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator
Photo © Discover Paris!

Signature for Beauford's Untitled
(1957) Oil on canvas
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator
Photo © Discover Paris!

More recently, it was loaned to the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia in Madrid, Spain for the exhibition Lost, Loose, and Loved: Foreign Artists 1944-1968, which ran from November 20, 2018 through April 22, 2019.

Untitled (second painting from left) at
Lost, Loose, and Loved: Foreign Artists 1944-1968
Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia
Screenshot from Lost, Loose, and Loved video

This painting is likely as wide as Beauford was tall. The juxtaposition of colors and the richness of textures are stunning. One can easily imagine the "mental and physical strength and devotion" it took for him to create this work.

Photos of Beauford with Untitled and Untitled
Private collection