“Beauford Delaney and James Baldwin: Through the Unusual Door” is now on view at the Knoxville Museum of Art. The exhibition draws from the museum's extensive Delaney holdings to present a fresh perspective on the artist’s relationship with writer James Baldwin, and how the two supported one another personally and inspired each other’s creative endeavors.
The Knoxville Museum of Art presents Beauford Delaney and James Baldwin: Through the Unusual Door February 7-May 10, 2020. This exhibition of 50+ paintings, works on paper, and unpublished archival material examines the 38-year relationship between painter Beauford Delaney (Knoxville 1901-1979 Paris) and writer James Baldwin (New York 1924-1987 Saint-Paul-de-Vence, France) and the ways their ongoing intellectual exchange shaped one another’s creative output and worldview. Through the Unusual Door seeks to identify and disentangle the skein of influences that grew over and around a rich, complex lifetime relationship with a selection of Delaney’s works that reflect the powerful presence of Baldwin in Delaney’s life. The exhibition draws from the KMA’s extensive Delaney holdings, public and private collections around the country, and rarely displayed papers held by the Delaney estate. KMA curator Stephen Wicks is organizing the exhibition, which is accompanied by a color-illustrated catalogue published by the University of Tennessee Press. Beauford Delaney and James Baldwin: Through the Unusual Door is made possible by generous underwriting from the Henry Luce Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guild of the Knoxville Museum of Art, and the Art Dealers Association of America Foundation.