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, May 20, 2017

Beauford in Jules B. Farber's James Baldwin - Escape from America, Exile in Provence

Jules B. Farber's book, James Baldwin - Escape from America, Exile in Provence, is a story woven from over seventy interviews with friends, associates, and lovers of James Baldwin about the seventeen years (1970-1987) that Baldwin lived in the French provincial town of Saint-Paul-de-Vence. It is MUST READ for those wanting to better understand Baldwin's thoughts, fears, actions, and works written during these last years of his life.

James Baldwin - Escape from America, Exile in Provence
Book cover

Farber begins his account by explaining how Baldwin moved into a homestead owned by an elderly spinster named Jeanne Faure. He describes how Baldwin first occupied "a basement flat in the old stables, accessible through a small, narrow passage under the kitchen" and went on to "buy" rooms in the house to provide a place to stay for his personal entourage and his myriad visitors. Baldwin and Mademoiselle Faure developed a deep friendship over the years and it was commonly known that she wished the property to go to Baldwin upon her death. In 2007, the Baldwin family lost a 20-year legal battle over ownership of the property to Mlle Faure's housekeeper/caretaker, Mme Josette Bazzini.

Farber describes Baldwin's underground apartment (the same space used as a studio by Georges Braque) as having three of Beauford's paintings on the wall. He says that two of the paintings were portraits of Baldwin

Portrait of James Baldwin
(1971) Oil on canvas
Bequest of James Baldwin to Clark Atlanta University Art Galleries
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator
Image courtesy of Clark Atlanta University Art Galleries
Note: Some question whether the person depicted in this portrait is indeed Baldwin.

and that the third was a portrait of Foster White, a former lover of Baldwin.

Beauford spent a great deal of time at this place, particularly when he was in need of physical and psychological care and healing. He would stay there for weeks at a time, surrounded by Baldwin, Bernard Hassell, and frequently, Baldwin's brother, David - all people who loved him and looked out for him.

From left to right: David Baldwin, James Baldwin, and Beauford
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

Sketching and painting the scenery of the area were part of his "therapy."

Saint-Paul-de-Vence
Creative Commons License - Dynamosquito

Village (St. Paul de Vence)
(1972) Oil on canvas
Bequest of James Baldwin to Clark Atlanta University Art Galleries
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator
Image courtesy of Clark Atlanta University Art Galleries

Sadly, the land and buildings are now greatly deteriorated. The extensions of the original house have been destroyed by the current owner, a developer who has the intent to construct luxury apartments there.

House and extension wing
Image courtesy of His Place in Provence

House with wing removed
Image courtesy of His Place in Provence

An organization called His Place in Provence is working to prevent the unfortunate transformation of this centuries-old, historical site. If successful, they will preserve a part of Beauford's history and legacy alongside those of Baldwin.

In Chapter 1, Farber includes details of an interview with Richard A. Long, a dear friend of Baldwin and Beauford, in which Long described bringing Beauford to Saint-Paul-de-Vence in 1973 (the year was actually 1972). Long indicated that the only other time he returned to the town was after Baldwin's death, when he inventoried the artworks that Baldwin had bequeathed to Clark Atlanta University. Among these works were several by Beauford.

A couple of brief mentions of Beauford in Chapters 1 and 5 indicate that he was also at Saint-Paul-de-Vence in 1974 and that he was not well at that time.

Pages 130-132 in Chapter 6 are devoted to anecdotes surrounding Beauford's placement in Sainte-Anne's Hospital in Paris and the depressing effect this had on Baldwin. Coupled with the public attack on Baldwin made in Le Canard Enchaîné, a satirical French newspaper, about his care of Beauford, Baldwin's concern for Beauford's deterioration detrimentally affected his work on the novel Just Above My Head.

Two B&W photos in the central section of the book reference Beauford. One is of Baldwin sitting in his underground office beneath Beauford's portrait of him.

James Baldwin in his house in Saint-Paul-de-Vence
Creative Commons Attribution
OT Saint Paul de Vence

The other is a Max Petrus photo of Baldwin and Beauford at Sainte-Anne's Hospital.

In Chapter 11 - "Black Music: Gospel, Blues, and all that Jazz," Farber credits Beauford with exposing Baldwin to secular black music in 1940. He quotes extensively from Baldwin's introduction to The Price of the Ticket, where Baldwin talks of "walking into music" when he visited Beauford's Greenwich Village apartment for the first time. This music would influence Baldwin's ability to write and the content of his writing for the rest of his life.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Gathering Light: Knoxville Museum of Art's Beauford Delaney Exhibition Now Open


Over 250 people turned out for the opening of Gathering Light - the exhibition of the Knoxville Museum of Art's permanent collection of Beauford Delaney works last week!

Knoxville Museum of Art
© Wells International Foundation

Entrance to exhibition gallery
© Knoxville Museum of Art

Inside the exhibition gallery
© Wells International Foundation

On Wednesday, May 3, roughly 90 persons attended the invitation-only, VIP opening. Chief Curator Stephen Wicks presented his concept for the exhibition, which brilliantly links photos and sketches displayed on a centrally located table with selected paintings and works on paper displayed on the walls of the gallery.

Photos and sketchbooks on central table
© Wells International Foundation

Artwork on wall of gallery
© Wells International Foundation

I followed by presenting the story of how I came to learn about Beauford's life as an African-American expatriate in Paris and why I became passionate about his personal and artistic legacy.

The general vernissage, or opening, was held on Thursday, May 4. Once again, the museum filled with visitors who were curious and eager to see the exhibition.

Opening night attendees
© Wells International Foundation

A child observes an abstract oil painting
© Knoxville Museum of Art

Contemplating Dante Pavone as Christ
© Knoxville Museum of Art

Photo ops abounded!

Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero and Monique Y. Wells
© Wells International Foundation

From left to right: Steve and Ann Bailey, KMA patrons
and sponsors of Gathering Light; Richard Jolly, artist
© Knoxville Museum of Art

From left to right: Wokie Wicks, KMA Chief Curator Stephen Wicks;
Douglas McCarty of MHM Architects and Interior Designers,
sponsor of Gathering Light
© Knoxville Museum of Art

On the evening of May 5, I joined several members of KMA's millennial group, Art House, to celebrate the opening. We gathered for dinner at Bistro on the Tracks - an acclaimed Knoxville dining establishment.

Dinner with Art House
© Knoxville Museum of Art

Art House's mission statement is the following:

Connecting a new generation to the Knoxville Museum of Art by providing exclusive opportunities to learn through art.

Throughout our exquisite meal, conversation was lively. Between exchanges of personal information and anecdotes, I shared stories from Beauford's biography and the Les Amis blog that centered on food.

Gathering Light will be shown at the Knoxville Museum of Art through July 23, 2017.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Beauford on Abstract Expressionist List for Exhibition that Never Came to Be

Catherine St. John, Doctor of Arts, retired Professor of Humanities and Social Sciences at Berkeley College in New Jersey, and long time supporter of Les Amis de Beauford Delaney, called my attention to a recently published article in Art News. It tells the story of a comprehensive exhibition of Abstract Expressionist work that never took place.

Walter Hopps, founding director of the Menil Collection in Houston, and art historian Bill Agee wanted to curate this show. Their intent was to show the works of men and women painters and sculptors that represented four decades of artistic creation (1940s-1980s) across the United States. Because Walter Hopps died in 2005, the exhibition never took place.

Dr. St. John wanted me to see the article because it presents the lists of desired artists whose works Hopps and Agee wanted to include in the exhibition. Beauford's name (misspelled) appears on Agee's list, along with the name of twp of Beauford's dearest friends, Charley Boggs and Larry Calcagno. Beauford and Boggs are included in the list of painters from the "East," while Calcagno is part of the list of painters from the "West."

Header for e-mail sent to Walter Hopps by Bill Agee
Screenshot from Art News article

Partial list mentioning Charlie Boggs and Beauford
Screenshot from Art News article

Partial list mentioning Larry Calcagno
Screenshot from Art News article

Dr. St. John indicated that references to Beauford as an Abstract Expressionist artist are not common and that his inclusion in this list is important.

Larry Calcagno, Beauford, and Charley Boggs in Venice
Photo from Amazing Grace: A Life of Beauford Delaney (1998)






Saturday, April 22, 2017

Beauford Delaney-James Baldwin Correspondence in James Baldwin Archive Sealed for 20 Years

It is well known that Beauford and James Baldwin had a deep and abiding friendship. What we know of that friendship comes mainly from the publication of biographies about Baldwin, writings by Baldwin, and the single biography that exists about Beauford.

James Baldwin and Beauford at the American Cultural Center
Photo: U.S. Information Service

When I learned that the Schomburg Center has acquired the Baldwin archive, I was excited! The center already holds a collection of Beauford's papers and having both archives at the same institution will make deeper scholarly investigation of the Beauford-Baldwin relationship much easier.

Or so I thought.

As I read the New York Times article that announced the acquisition, my excitement quickly faded. In Paragraph 8, writer Jennifer Schuessler reveals that "Baldwin’s correspondence with four of his closest intimates is under 20-year seal" and ten paragraphs later, she reveals that "Correspondence with Delaney is covered by the 20-year seal."

Schuessler mentions unpublished notes by Baldwin about Beauford and this text is coupled with a photo of part of a page of handwritten notes that were published as an essay in the Studio Museum of Harlem catalog for the Beauford Delaney: A Retrospective exhibition in 1978.

Detail of a page from Baldwin's essay "Notes on Beauford Delaney"
Original photo by Emon Hassan

Beauford Delaney: A Retrospective - catalog cover
1978 Studio Museum of Harlem

It is not clear whether Schuessler knew that the essay had indeed been published.

The 20-year seal also covers correspondence between Baldwin and his brother David; his friend and lover, Lucien Happersberger, and his friend Mary Painter. Painter was also a close friend of Beauford, so it is possible that some of the letters exchanged by Painter and Baldwin discuss Beauford.

To see the Schomburg Center's Web page that details the contents of the James Baldwin archive, click HERE.

To see the Schomburg Center's Web page that details all documentation concerning Beauford, click HERE.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Gathering Light: Works by Beauford Delaney from the Knoxville Museum of Art Collection

In two short weeks, I'll be winging my way to Beauford's hometown of Knoxville to participate in the opening festivities for Gathering Light, a solo exhibition of Beauford's works from the Knoxville Museum of Art's collection. The exhibition will be held from May 5 - July 23, 2017.


From the museum's Web site:

Gathering Light includes approximately 40 of Delaney’s paintings and drawings — nearly all of which have never before been on public view — that were purchased from the artist’s estate between 2014 and 2016 in what is likely the most significant art acquisition in the KMA’s history.

Delaney is widely considered greatest artist Knoxville ever produced, and one of the most important American abstract painters of the late 20th century. The portraits, landscapes, and abstractions featured in Gathering Light provide a fascinating cross-section of the artist’s stellar career and demonstrate his ability to distill scenes of everyday life into explorations of the expressive power of color. Complementing these is a selection of paintings from the artist’s estate that the KMA hopes to acquire.

Knoxville Museum of Art
© Wells International Foundation

I will speak to a select group of KMA's key stakeholders and supporters during a private event to be held on the evening of May 3 and will attend the opening reception on May 4. I'm very much looking forward to viewing so many of Beauford's previously unseen works and having the opportunity to comment on them.

I will also meet with Dr. Avice Reid, the City of Knoxville's Senior Director of Community Relations; Rev. Reneé Kesler, President and CEO of the Beck Cultural Exchange Center; members of KMA's millennial group, Art House; and members of the Knoxville chapter of The Links Incorporated. All of us will discuss various ways in which we can move the Beauford Delaney in America initiative forward.

Gathering Light will provide a taste of what Knoxville can expect when the Beauford Delaney: Resonance of Form and Vibration of Color exhibition travels from Paris to KMA in 2018. The dates for the latter exhibition are August 24 - November 4, 2018.


Saturday, April 8, 2017

Beauford's Reflections on Abstraction in Art

... that which they call abstract is the most realist, because what is real is not the exterior form, but the idea, the essence of things.
~Constantin Brancusi

Beauford was known for his philosophical musings. In Amazing Grace: A Life of Beauford Delaney, biographer David A. Leeming talks about Beauford's acquaintance with Constantin Brancusi and his agreement with Brancusi's opinion about abstraction in art (see quote above). Leeming says that Beauford had made similar statements since the 1930s, long before he met Brancusi in Paris.

Beauford expressed the following about abstraction in art in a 1970 conversation with Richard A. Long:

The abstraction, ostensibly, is simply for me the penetration of something that is more profound in many ways than rigidity of a form. A form if it breathes some, if it has some enigma to it, it is also the enigma that is the abstract, I would think.

In Amazing Grace, Leeming discusses how Beauford's abstractions and portraits were extensions of each other. He describes Beauford's portraiture as being "more about masses of color and the 'enigma' of form than about likeness." Beauford's portraits of James Baldwin (Dark Rapture) and Ella Fitzgerald are two exquisite examples of this.

Dark Rapture
(1941) Oil on canvas
33 1/2" x 27 3/8"
Private collection
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

Portrait of Ella Fitzgerald
(1968) Oil on canvas
24" x 19.5"
Permanent collection of the SCAD Museum of Art, Savannah
Gift of Dr. Walter O. and Mrs. Linda J. Evans
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator


After his breakdown, a visit to the Musée d'Art Moderne to see an exhibition of Joan Miró's work in July 1962 inspired Beauford to begin painting in earnest again. He wrote to Henry Miller of needing "to work with the problem of trying to get color into proper form and texture on canvas" so that it corresponded to "the form in our mind and life." Biographer Leeming notes that Beauford began producing the large yellow abstractions of his rue Vercingétorix period at this time.

Untitled
Beauford Delaney (1901-1979)
(1963) Oil on canvas
39 1/2" x 32", 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


Untitled (Abstraction #7)
(1964) Oil on canvas
51 1/4" x 38 1/4", 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


Saturday, April 1, 2017

Beauford in the Knoxville News-Sentinel

The Knoxville News-Sentinel, one of the principal newspapers of Beauford's hometown of Knoxville, TN, has published several articles about him throughout the years.

Knoxville News-Sentinel - current masthead

The most recent one appeared in the arts section of the paper last July: A movement is underway to recognize artist Beauford Delaney in his hometown of Knoxville

Steve Cotham of the East Tennessee History Center kindly sent me copies of several older articles that the paper published about Beauford. Dating from 1935 to 1978, they report on his life in New York, art exhibitions that he participated in, his visits home, and his hospitalization in Paris. Here are some of the headlines:

Article published 8 February 1942

"Knoxville Negro Artist Has Successful Exhibit" was written by Miss Della Yoe. Yoe refers to Beauford as being a "Negro artist formerly of Knoxville," and spells his name "Beuford." She mentions his 1941 exhibition in Washington Square in Spring 1941, acknowledging its success, and notes that it was reviewed in The News-Sentinel. Much of the article consists of an extensive quote from a Don Freeman essay about Beauford.

Article published 1 January 1970

"Knoxvillian Back From 16-Year Visit" indicates that Beauford (spelled "Buford" in the article) "went to Paris intending to visit three weeks. Now, 16 years later, he has finally interrupted a successful art career in France to return for a visit in Knoxville." The unnamed writer mentions that Beauford stayed with his brother Samuel at 1935 Dandridge Avenue and that his intent was to "do some painting and just visit" during his trip. He states that many of Beauford's portraits hung in French homes and that one of his paintings "hangs in the Lausanne Gallery in Switzerland."

Article published 9 August 1976

"Paris Artists Aim To Free Ex-Knox Painter, 73, and Send Him Home" contains several quotes from Beauford's friend, Jean-Loup Msika. Writer William Steif refers to the efforts of Msika and several other artists to get Beauford released from Sainte-Anne's Hospital and establish a private residence for him where he could paint and receive nursing care. It says that Beauford suffered from "hardening of the arteries," which made him forgetful and indicates that James Baldwin believed Beauford would benefit from going back to the southern United States.

Baldwin apparently did not know that Beauford had family remaining in Knoxville - a companion article entitled "Delaney Has Brother and Niece in Knoxville" talks about Samuel Delaney, his wife, and their daughter Imogene, who lived at 1935 Dandridge Avenue. This is the address of the home that the Beck Cultural Exchange Center in Knoxville has purchased and plans to restore.

The East Tennessee History Center hopes to become the permanent home of the Beauford Delaney archives.

East Tennessee History Center
© Wells International Foundation

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Beauford's Portrait of Larry Calcagno Sold at Auction

Last Saturday, Tyler Fine Art x Ripley Auctions presented Beauford's portrait of Larry Calcagno for sale at its "African-American Artists - A Fine Art Auction."

Portrait of a Young Man (Larry Calcagno)
(1953) Oil on canvas
31.75" x 25.5" (80.6 cm x 64.8 cm)
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

The painting sold for $15,000. At the time of this writing, I am not able to confirm whether this price includes a buyer's premium.

To read about the friendship shared by Beauford and Larry Calcagno, visit the following links:

A Boundless Love: Beauford Delaney's Letters to Larry Calcagno (2016)


Beauford and Larry Calcagno (2011)


Saturday, March 18, 2017

Beauford's Portrait of Larry Calcagno to Be Auctioned

Tyler Fine Art x Ripley Auctions is presenting "African-American Artists - A Fine Art Auction" at 11:00 AM on March 18, 2017 (today). Beauford's Portrait of a Young Man (Larry Calcagno) is among the works for sale.

Portrait of a Young Man (Larry Calcagno)
(1953) Oil on canvas
31.75" x 25.5" (80.6 cm x 64.8 cm)
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

Two extensive articles on Beauford and Calcagno's relationship can be found on this blog:

A Boundless Love: Beauford Delaney's Letters to Larry Calcagno (2016)


and

Beauford and Larry Calcagno (2011)


Calcagno painted a portrait of his friend in 1975:

Larry Calcagno's Portrait of Beauford (2011)

The Calcagno portrait was part of the Beauford Delaney: From New York to Paris exhibition, which was shown at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, the Knoxville Museum of Art, the Greenville County Museum of Art, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art in 2004-2006.

The portrait has been assigned Lot Number 24. Its estimated value is $15,000-20,000.

A Beauford Delaney lithograph (Lot 25) entitled Lithography Afrique is also up for auction in this show (estimated value is $1500-$2500).

Ripley Auctions
2764 East 55th Place
Indianapolis, IN 46220

For additional information, call 317-251-5635.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

A. C. Hudgins' Beauford Delaney Abstract


A.C. Hudgins has a passion for collecting the work of contemporary African-American artists. He owns only a few works by "dead artists." The Beauford Delaney abstract shown below is one of them.

Untitled
(not dated) Oil on canvas
Signed on rear of painting
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

Signature at the rear of Untitled
Oil on canvas
Signed on rear of painting
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

Given that Beauford indicated his Vercingétorix address beneath his signature at the rear of the painting, it must date from at least 1962.

Hudgins acquired this work from a dealer on the upper east side of NYC - a woman who handles Paul Jenkins' estate. She was once on the board of the Studio Museum of Harlem.

Hudgins saw the painting and liked it. He had a MoMA conservator evaluate it and was told that the work was in pristine condition. Based on that assessment, he purchased it.

Hudgins marvels at how this painting "reads differently" in various areas of his home, depending on the lighting that is present in the room.

It is likely that Beauford gave this work to Paul Jenkins. The two men met in New York a short time before Beauford left his Greene Street studio in 1952, and they remained friends after Beauford moved to Paris. Their work was shown in a group exhibition at the Galerie Arnaud in Paris in March 1965.

Jenkins wrote about Beauford in an article entitled "A Quiet Legend." Published in Art International, Volume 6, No. 10, December 20, 1962, it begins as follows:

Beauford Delaney's role in the painting of today has been that of a quiet legend. He lived for many years in New York, on Greene Street in Greenwich Village, where his loft drew people like a magnet...

Beauford's biographer, David A. Leeming, quotes Jenkins as writing the following about Beauford's early Paris works:

The way he painted, moved into a certain radiant generalization. In the paint he let go of a specific personal identity and moved closer and closer toward the constant, the original light coming from the canvas. ... These paintings could be churches of no denomination.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Maggie Umber's Artistic Tribute to Beauford


Several days ago, I received a "Google Alert" about Beauford. One of the links provided led me to the image below.



Portrait of Beauford Delaney
Maggie Umber
(2017) Watercolor on rough paper

Intrigued, I contacted the artist. Her name is Maggie Umber and she graciously granted me an interview for the blog.

Umber is a professional artist. Her interest in art began at a young age - from 3rd to 6th grade, she took after-school and Saturday art classes. She tutored kids in drawing throughout middle school and began selling paintings in high school. A graduate of Perpich Center for Arts Education in Golden Valley, MN, she went on to earn a B.A. in Studio Arts with a focus on intaglio printmaking from Hamline University in St. Paul, MN. She is now a cartoonist, freelance artist, and associate publisher at the comic book company, 2dcloud.

Umber learned about Beauford because her mother is a fan of his work. She took Umber to see Beauford Delaney: From New York to Paris at the Minneapolis Institute of Art in 2004.

As a result, Umber says she often goes to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts to see displays of Beauford’s work. She talked about the untitled abstract oil raincoat painting that is framed in a case away from the wall that is on permanent display. She also reported that Jazz Quartet is on display again.

She said that Beauford's Untitled (Washington Square Park) "comes and goes," along with his mixed media Self-Portrait, Yaddo. She also mentioned that the Georgia O’Keefe portrait of Beauford that is on a long-term loan to the museum wasn't being displayed at the time of our interview.

I asked Umber what she likes about Beauford's work. She responded:

I like the thickness and heavy texture of his paint application and his vivid color palette! His paintings are bold and expressive and his compositions are dynamic. His paintings pop off the walls with their powerful energy!

Umber says she was inspired by Beauford's painting style when she did his portrait. But she says the painting still looks like her style, not as much like Beauford's style as she would like.

She believes that painting from another artist’s work is a good way to learn because "they make choices that you would never think of and it makes you realize your habits."

Umber selected the colors and for the portrait after doing a Google search and finding images of Beauford’s self-portrait from the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago "It is such a great painting and the colors!!!" she says.

Self-portrait
Oil on canvas (1944)
Art Institute of Chicago
© Estate of Beauford Delaney, by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire, Court Appointed Administrator

She modeled the attire from the photo that was possibly taken of Beauford at his easel by Gjon Mili.

Portrait of Beauford Delaney
(ca. 1950)
Possibly by Gjon Mili

Umber's love of portraiture stems from her high school and college years. Her passion for subjects of African descent began when she was commissioned to do a portrait of Bob Marley.

Fifteen years later, as the associate publisher of 2dcloud and a freelance artist, this passion persists - she did three brush pen portraits of Jean-Michel Basquiat, Moms Mabley and Billie Holiday during Black History Month 2016. She decided that she wants to do a series of these paintings every February:

This year I decided to do watercolor portraits. My mom said, “You better paint Beauford Delaney!” But I had already put him on my list. I had done a portrait of James Baldwin inspired by the colors from Beauford’s portrait of him from 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

Portrait of James Baldwin
Maggie Umber
(2017) Watercolor on rough paper

I love Beauford's painting and I wanted to learn more about him. I would like to do a lot of portraits of visual artists for my Black History Month series. I wish that there had been more of a focus on African American artists in the books, classes and museums when I was growing up and learning to be a painter.

I painted Beauford's portrait on Thursday night, February 16, 2017. For most of the portraits in the watercolor series I penciled in the portrait first. But for this painting I just went straight to paint.

See more of Umber's 2017 Black History Month watercolors HERE.




Saturday, February 25, 2017

More Beauford Delaney Works at Auction

Beauford's work is growing ever more popular with auction houses in the U.S. and France.

Last week, his Untitled (Green) was sold by Quinn's Auction Galleries during their "African American Artists: Featuring the Inventory and Collection of Merton D. Simpson" sale.

Untitled or Green
(1963) Watercolor on paper
26" x 19 1/2" (66 cm x 49.5 cm)
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

The work (Lot #3) fetched $8,400, including a 20% buyer's premium. The estimated bid range was $2000-$4000.

Earlier this month, the purchase price for a stunning still life from Beauford's New York years far exceeded its estimated bid of $6000 to $8000.

Still Life with Eggplant & Fruit
Pastel on paper
signed and dated ’49 lower left
Framed, sight: 19 in. x 25 in. (48.3 cm x 63.5 cm)
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

Still Life with Eggplant and Fruit (Lot #1123) was auctioned by Sloans & Kenyon in Chevy Chase, MD on February 12th. It sold for $25,095, including a 19.5% buyer's premium.

On February 22nd, an unusual watercolor (Lot 324) was auctioned by Expertisez.com in Paris, France.

Untitled
Aquarelle signed et dated 1961, lower right
51 x 65 cm (20.1" x 25.6")
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

It sold for 3,200€. The estimated price was 3000€ to 4000€.