Modern and Contemporary Art
Portrait of James BaldwinMade in United States, North and Central America
Beauford Delaney, American (active Paris), 1901 - 1979
Oil on canvas
Currently not on view
|125th Anniversary Acquisition. Purchased with funds contributed by The Daniel W. Dietrich Foundation in memory of Joseph C. Bailey and with a grant from The Judith Rothschild Foundation, 1998|
LabelThis iconic painting is a very early depiction of the famous writer and civil rights activist James Baldwin, who was twenty-one when Delaney created this portrait. Closely cropped and vibrantly painted, it jumps out from the canvas, presenting an up-close encounter with the sitter. As in Delaney's self-portraits, he painted one eye slightly different from the other, a pictorial device also found in Pablo Picasso's paintings. Of the many portraits Delaney made of Baldwin, this one is among his most direct and expressive.