For artists and composers, recognition—or even health and comfort—often comes far too late for the individual. Such is the case with painter Beauford Delaney, born in Knoxville in 1901, dying in an insane asylum in Paris in 1979. However, in the last 20 years, his status as a great American painter has solidified and his works are now being exhibited in numerous museum shows.
The Knoxville Museum of Art, which has acquired a number of Delaney’s works on paper in recent years, is now announcing a major acquisition of twelve pieces by Delaney: nine paintings and works on paper from the post-1953 Paris period as he moved toward abstraction, and two pastels and a charcoal drawing from his earlier Boston/New York period. The acquisition gives KMA the distinction of being the world’s largest public repository of oil paintings and works on paper by Beauford Delaney.
Selections from the acquisition will be on view at the museum later in the spring. The museum is planning a major international exhibition of Delaney’s works in the fall of 2019.