Joseph Delaney (Tennessee/New York, 1904-1991) sketchbook with thirty-one (31) crayon on paper drawings and twelve (12) miniature crayon and ink on card stock drawings to inside of front cover. The majority of the drawings depict female nudes in a variety of poses, seven (7) of the miniature drawings depicting still life scenes, groups of people, and one (1) depicting an artist at an easel. Unsigned. Includes Beauford Delaney signature with partial address, verso of back cover. Sketchbooks – 18 1/4″ H x 12 1/4″ W x 1/2″ D. Drawings – 18″ H x 12″ W. Miniature drawings approximately 3 1/2″ H x 3 1/2″ W. Provenance: The Estate of Ougust Delaney, Knoxville, TN. Biography (courtesy of Frederick C. Moffatt): Joseph Delaney was born in Knoxville in 1904. He and his older brother, Beauford, discovered their interest in art by drawing on Sunday School cards. In 1930, Joseph left Tennessee for New York where Beauford was also working as an artist, and enrolled in the Art Students League under the tutelage of Thomas Hart Benton and Alexander Brooke. The subject matter he found there, including the city’s landmarks and its people, are the images for which he is best known. In 1986, Delaney returned to Knoxville to live and was artist-in-residence for the University of Tennessee Art Department until his death in 1991. Delaney’s works are included in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Chicago Art Institute, The Knoxville Museum of Art, and The Smithsonian American Art Museum. Note: Delaney and Haley began a friendship sometime in the 1940’s. In Haley’s “Shadowland of Dreams” he writes: “Through him (his friend George Sims) I met other struggling artists like Joe Delaney, a veteran painter from Knoxville, Tennessee. Often Joe lacked food money, so he’d visit a neighborhood butcher who would give him big bones with morsels of meat and a grocer who would hand him some wilted vegetables. That’s all Joe needed to make down-home soup. Another Village neighbor was a handsome young singer who ran a struggling restaurant. Rumor had it that if a customer ordered steak, the singer would dash to a supermarket across the street to buy one. His name was Harry Belafonte. People like Delaney and Belafonte became role models for me. I learned that you had to make sacrifices and live creatively to keep working at your dream. That’s what living in the Shadowland is all about”. Additionally, Delaney was named artist-in-residence at The University of TN, an appointment facilitated by his friend Alex Haley. CONDITION: Overall good condition with surface scuffs. Two (2) tears, largest 1″, left and right of wire sketchbook spiral.
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