The University of Tennessee Acquires the Personal Archives of Artist Beauford Delaney

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Libraries has acquired the complete personal archive of internationally renowned modernist painter Beauford Delaney (1901–1979). Delaney, a member of the Harlem Renaissance and one of the leading modernist painters of his time, helped revolutionize art of the 20th century through abstract and expressionist painting — all despite battling poverty, prejudice, and mental illness. He achieved an international reputation for his portraits, scenes of city life, and free-form abstractions marked by intense colors, bold contours, and expressive surfaces.

Drawn from the artist’s estate, the collection eclipses in size and importance Beauford Delaney archival collections held by other leading national libraries. Richly documenting Delaney’s work and life, the archive contains correspondence with about 140 people, including leading artistic and literary greats such as James Baldwin, Georgia O’Keeffe, Henry Miller, and Al Hirschfeld, among others. There are also loose sketches, family and childhood photographs, photographs of Baldwin and other friends, and sketchbooks containing drawings, daily musings, and preliminary studies for some of Delaney’s major paintings.

Beauford Delaney and his brother Joseph Delaney (1904–1991) — also a well-known painter — were born in Knoxville. The University of Tennessee’s Ewing Gallery of Art holds a large bequest of sketchbooks, drawings, paintings, and archival material from Joseph Delaney. And two other local institutions — the Beck Cultural Exchange Center and the Knoxville Museum of Art — are rich repositories of Beauford Delaney’s legacy. The three institutions will leverage their collective holdings through programs, exhibitions, digital projects, and other initiatives to offer cultural enrichment and education to the wider Knoxville community.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Get the JBHE Weekly Bulletin

Receive our weekly email newsletter delivered to your inbox

Latest News

Duke University Finds the Racial Wealth Gap Between Black and White Americans is Growing

From 2019 to 2022, the average net work gap between Black and White Americans grew by 38 percent. The study authors believe this increasing wealth gap can be attributed to the country's history with racism and inequities in intergenerational wealth.

James Martin II Named Chancellor of North Carolina A&T State University

Dr. Martin brings decades of experiences in engineering research and academic leadership to his new role. He has been serving as the vice chancellor for STEM research and innovation at the University of Pittsburgh.

Nurses in Black-Serving Hospitals Experienced Increased Levels of “Moral Distress” During the Pandemic

Moral distress is defined as a feeling of being prevented from making a morally-ethical action, which contributes to mental health challenges. Nurses under moral distress are more likely to experience burnout and quit their jobs.

Edward Louis Hill Jr. Is the New Leader of Talladega College in Alabama

Dr. Hill has extensive experience in K-12 and higher education, holding both academic and administrative positions. Prior to his new interim appointment, he served the college as associate provost and dean of life long and professional development.

Featured Jobs