The University of Tennessee 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.
Beauford Delaney and his brother Joseph (1904–1991) — also a well-known painter — were born in Knoxville. UT’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 Beck center has purchased the Delaney family home and is developing the property into a Beauford Delaney museum and study center. The KMA holds the world’s largest public collection of work by Beauford Delaney.
Read more at volumes.lib.utk.edu.