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Dialogue: The Life and Work of Beauford Delaney

Van Vechten Collection at the Library of Congress

This month, a flurry of attention is falling on the world-renowned abstract expressionist painter, Beauford Delaney. The Knoxville native was a beloved figure among his contemporaries in New York and Paris, including James Baldwin. On Dialogue, Wednesday at noon on WUOT, we take a look at Beauford Delaney's early years in East Tennessee and talk with guests who've been working to honor his legacy in his hometown. 

Guests include Stephen Wicks, the curator for the exhibition Beauford Delaney and James Baldwin: Through the Unusual Door at the Knoxville Museum of Art opening February 7, 2020; William Isom II, the director of Black in Appalachia and creator of a film about Beauford Delaney airing on East Tennessee PBS throughout February; and Derek Spratley, the executor of the Delaney estate who has been vital in recovering Beauford Delaney's paintings and keeping them in Knoxville. 


The Delaney Project has created a calendar of eventshonoring Beauford Delaney in Knoxville. This includes Beauford Delaney and James Baldwin: Through the Unusual Door opening February 7that the Knoxville Museum of Art; screenings of William Isom's film, Beauford Delaney, on February 16th and February 20th; and a tribute to the Delaneys at the Beck Cultural Center on February 24th

Additionally, the University of Tennessee's Humanities Center and its director Amy Elias will be hosting a National Endownment for the Humanities-funded, public symposium featuring 25 scholars who will present research into the lives and work of both Beauford Delaney and James Baldwin. Speakers include renowned poet Fred Moten, who will put Delaney's work in relation to Baldwin's writing and jazz music, and the Pulitzer-prize winning author Hilton Als. The symposium also will feature Knoxville members of the Delaney Project, a pop-up portrait studio with UT faculty artists, a book exhibit, and gallery offerings. The symposium runs February 20-21

Note: Due to unfortunate technical difficulties, there is no longer audio available for this episode of Dialogue.