Les Amis de Beauford Delaney is partnering with the Wells International Foundation (WIF) to take the Beauford Delaney: Resonance of Form and Vibration of Color exhibition to the U.S.!

We value your support!

TO MAKE A DONATION, CLICK HERE.
(All or part of your gift through WIF may qualify as a charitable deductible in the U.S.)

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Knoxville Museum of Art Is Now Largest Museum Repository for Beauford Delaney Works

Since making the acquaintance of 11 Knoxvillians who came to Paris in February 2016 to see the Resonance of Form and Vibration of Color exhibition and visit Beauford's old haunts on the "Beauford Delaney's Montparnasse" walking tour, the trajectories of this blog and the Knoxville Museum of Art (KMA) have been intertwined.

I have visited Knoxville twice since that time and have come to know Executive Director David Butler, Barbara W. and Bernard E. Bernstein Curator Stephen Wicks, former KMA trustee Sylvia Peters, and many others at the museum as we have worked in parallel on both sides of the Atlantic to preserve and extend Beauford's legacy.

So it is with great pleasure that I write this post to announce that KMA is now the world's largest public repository for Beauford Delaney oils, watercolors, and pastels.

Knoxville Museum of Art at Twilight
Photo courtesy of the Knoxville Museum of Art

Leading museum collections of Beauford Delaney’s work

The expansion of the collection has been gathering steam since 2014, when KMA acquired two works with funds provided by the KMA Collectors Circle. In August 2014, it acquired nineteen additional works, including the abstract oil entitled Scattered Light (1963). A subsequent purchase brought the total number of works owned to thirty-seven (37).

In 2016, the museum purchased two portraits: Portrait of Delia Delaney (1933) and Dante Pavone as Christ (1948).

In 2017, it acquired twelve (12) major works from the Delaney estate. Three of the twelve were obtained through a partnership between KMA and the Knoxville chapter of The Links, Incorporated.

“This purchase represents the highest and best expression of the museum’s commitment to the visual culture of our region,” states KMA Executive Director David Butler. “A broad spectrum of the community responded generously and with alacrity and enthusiasm to this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make the KMA a vital resource for the study, preservation, and promotion of Beauford Delaney’s work.”

The following images represent some of the works purchased in 2017.

Blue Light Abstraction
(ca. 1962) Oil on canvas
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

Untitled (African Figure)
(ca. 1965) Oil on paper
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

Abstraction #12
(1963) Oil on canvas
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

KMA plans to mount a major international exhibition of Beauford Delaney’s work in the fall of 2019, and is participating with a growing roster of local cultural organizations operating collectively as “The Delaney Project” to organize events to celebrate the achievements of Beauford and his brother, artist Joseph Delaney, in their hometown.

Selections from the 2017 purchase will be on view at the KMA beginning this spring.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Classes Duo Paris/Knoxville - A Successful Debut

In the Les Amis blog post dated December 16, 2017, I shared news about Classes Duo Paris/Knoxville - a collaborative project between the Wells International Foundation (WIF) and the City of Paris' CASPE* administrative service that has emerged from the Beauford Delaney: Resonance of Form and Vibration of Color exhibition.

Sixteen (16) students from Jean Zay Elementary Public School in Paris and sixteen (16) students from Nature's Way Montessori School in Knoxville, TN are connecting via video conference to learn about each other's language and culture through Beauford's life and art.

The first video conference was held on January 12, 2018. It was an unqualified success, with the French and American students taking turns introducing themselves by name and stating their ages on camera. Having practiced ahead of time, the French students were able to introduce themselves in English and the American students were able to do so in French.

Jean Zay students
© Wells International Foundation

Nature's Way students
Image courtesy of Nature's Way Montessori School

With the adult leaders translating, each group then asked questions of the other – things such as whether they like school, where they have traveled, whether they have seen popular landmarks (Eiffel Tower and Empire State Building), and whether they like candy. The French students showed two posters they created that displayed small portrait drawings and a photo of Beauford Delaney. Both posters bore Delaney's name, acknowledging the man whose legacy is binding the students together.

Jean Zay students proudly show their Beauford Delaney poster
© Wells International Foundation

The second video conference was held on February 2, 2018. Students from both schools focused their artistic talents on creating drawings of Martin Luther King, Jr. and images of various modes of travel inspired by Beauford's maiden voyage from the U.S. to France on the S.S. Liberté. Students from Jean Zay also drew portraits of Rosa Parks and Josephine Baker, inspired by these women's roles in the U.S. Civil Rights Movement and the sites named after them in Paris. They wrote reports about King, Parks, and Baker and read them to the Nature's Way students during the conference.

Jean Zay students' portraits of Rosa Parks
© Wells International Foundation

Nature's Way student's portrayal of modes of travel
between the U.S. and France
Image courtesy of Nature's Way Montessori School

To get to know each other better during the second conference, the students shared what they had for breakfast that morning. The Nature's Way students asked if the Jean Zay students had been to the Eiffel Tower and a lively exchange ensued as the Jean Zay students revealed that the Eiffel Tower can be seen from a vantage point near their school. Several students also talked about the view they have of the Eiffel Tower from their apartment buildings.

Both groups are growing increasingly excited about the prospect of the Nature's Way students paying a visit to Paris to visit the Jean Zay students. The target date for this trip is Autumn 2018.

The next video conference is scheduled for March 9, 2018. In preparation for this meeting, the students will create sculptures from red clay—just as Beauford and his brother, Joseph, did during their youth.

To see additional images of the students' artwork, click on the links below:

Martin Luther King, Jr. by Nature's Way students
MLK, Rosa Parks, Josephine Baker by Jean Zay students
Travel by Nature's Way and Jean Zay students

Watch this blog for updates on how the program progresses!

*CASPE - Circonscription des Affaires Scolaires et de la Petite Enfance

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Beauford Delaney Works Sold at Case Antiques Historic Winter Auction

Case Antiques successfully sold two Beauford Delaney abstracts and a bundle of Beauford's letters and other memorabilia on Saturday, January 27.

The estimated sale price for Abstract on Paper No. 351 was $5,800 - $6,200.

Lot 484: Abstract on Paper No. 351
(1964) Watercolor on paper
22 1/2" x 16"
Signed and dated lower right
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

Lot 484: Abstract on Paper No. 351
Signature and date
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

It sold for $7,440.

The estimated sale price for Abstract on Paper No. 313 is $6,400 - $7,000.

Lot 485: Abstract on Paper No. 313
(1962) Watercolor on paper
25 1/2" x 19 1/4 "
Signed and dated lower right
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

Lot 485: Abstract on Paper No. 313
Signature and date
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

It sold for $15,000.

The estimated sale price for the "Archive of Beauford Delaney Letters and Related Objects" (comprised of 29 items, most of which are paintbrushes and drawing pencils) was $800 - $900.

Lot 487: Paintbrushes and pencils, French Lesson, Letters
Image from Case Antiques Web site

It sold for $4,800.

All sale prices indicated include a 20% buyer's premium. In auctions, the buyer's premium is a percentage additional charge on the hammer price (winning bid at auction) of the purchased item that must be paid by the winner. It is charged by the auctioneer to cover administrative expenses. The buyer's premium goes directly to the auction house and not to the seller.

For additional information, contact Case Antiques at
.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

A Toast to the Arts

By Sylvia L. Peters, Chairman of Gathering Light: The Delaney Project
Images courtesy of Sylvia L. Peters

Program for "A Toast to the Arts"

On Saturday, January 13, 2018, more than 150 people gathered at the Knoxville Museum of Art to celebrate the acquisition and unveiling of art by Beauford Delaney. It was a stellar affair attended by a diverse audience of citizens who contributed funds to bring home the work of this native son.

The event was the result of a partnership between The Knoxville (TN) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated and the Knoxville Museum of Art (KMA). The purpose of this unique relationship is to increase awareness of Beauford Delaney’s place in the international art world and to raise funds to bring a critical mass of his work home to Knoxville, TN to allow it to be placed in a Center of Excellence for the study of his art.

The Links, Incorporated is one of the oldest African American professional women’s organizations in the world. In 2016, the Knoxville (TN) Chapter became a significant partner in a unique community-wide effort to promote and honor Beauford and his brother, artist Joseph Delaney.

Members of the Knoxville, TN chapter of
The Links, Incorporated

The reception, "A Toast to the Arts," took place on the weekend that most Americans celebrate the birth of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. In the minds and hearts of those who attended, this event became one to not only honor Beauford Delaney and Martin Luther King, but to also bring together people from diverse backgrounds to celebrate the goodness of the values and culture that are the hallmarks of a civil democratic society.

Table setting for "A Toast to the Arts"

The brief program included remarks by David Butler, Executive Director of the museum, and Avice Evans Reid, President of the Knoxville (TN) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated,

David Butler, Executive Director at KMA

Avice Evans Reid, President of the Knoxville Links Chapter

as well as a presentation by Stephen Wicks, KMA curator, which highlighted three new Delaney acquisitions that were made possible by the KMA/Links partnership and donors who attended the event.

Curator Stephen Wicks presents the acquired works

Bass Baritone Dominick White sang a stirring rendition of Amazing Grace; and Michael Delaney, a close relative of Beauford Delaney, sang two vocals and accompanied himself on acoustic guitar. He was introduced to the audience by Derek Spratley, who is the attorney for the Delaney Estate.

Bass Baritone Dominick White

Michael Delaney

The evening was a glorious one of “Amazing Grace” in Knoxville - one that showed the promise and power of celebrating culture, the arts and diversity.

Attendees at table

Full house

Derek Spratley presents Michael Delaney

It was an evening that Beauford would have enjoyed.

Jan and Sylvia Peters

The acquisitions
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esq.,
Court Appointed Administrator

Delaney Project logo