Scope and arrangement
The Beauford Delaney Letters (1958-1963) consist of 18 autograph letters from Delaney to his friend Lynn Stone in New York City, two letters to Stone from artist Charles Boggs, a handwritten draft with typewritten copy of a fundraising letter by author James Baldwin and two letters from Edward C. Califano, director of Galerie Internationale, New York City.
The correspondence between Delaney and Stone is primarily of a personal nature in which Delaney discusses mutual friends, his philosophy of life, the importance of friendship, etc. However there is also frequent mention of plans for a proposed National Urban League fundraising exhibition (1963) in cooperation with Galerie Internationale. Other topics include exhibitions in which Delaney is currently showing, his artistic production in general, as well as other artists including composer Howard Swanson, painter Charles Boggs and author James Baldwin. In one letter (January 11, 1963) Delaney discusses writer/photographer Carl Van Vechten and his role as patron of black artists. In the same letter he discusses artist Al Hirschfeld and others who own pieces of his work, also a documentary film (1960) made by Television Francaise in which he appears. Another letter (October 20, 1962) contains a partial list of private individuals owning some of Delaney's work.
James Baldwin writes in his capacity as chairman of the Sponsoring Committee to raise initial funds for the proposed National Urban League fundraising exhibition of Delaney's work. The letter also emphasizes the committee's second goal, to bring wider recognition, within the United States, to the work of Beauford Delaney. Baldwin also refers to Delaney as his spiritual father, to whom he owes a tremendous debt.
The correspondence from Charles Boggs to Stone (1962) primarily discusses proposed plans for Delaney's coming to New York for the National Urban League's fundraising exhibition. In addition, some discussion is devoted to Delaney's mental and physical health as well as to his views on race-related matters. Delaney's relationship with gallery owner Paul Facchetti of Paris is also heavily emphasized.
The two letters (1963) from Galerie Internationale's director Edward C. Califano discuss the proposed fundraising exhibition and details regarding representation, sales, commissions etc.