Profiles of LGBT people, from the past and today – and celebrating their birthdays! All Birthdays →

Beauford Delaney

Beauford Delaney was born on December 30, 1901, in Knoxville, Tennessee. His artistic talent was noticed early; he painted his first commissioned work at fourteen. He informally studied art in Boston for several years and then moved to New York, where he became known for his paintings of socialites, Harlem Renaissance figures, and everyday Harlem residents. He also became involved in the gay community in Greenwich Village. His art was published in prominent newspapers like the Chicago Defender and exhibited at important locations like the Whitney Studio Galleries. He also became part of artist organizations such as the Art Students' League and Harlem Arts Guild. He held a fellowship at Yaddo in 1948 and moved to Paris in 1953, joining the community of American expatriate artists there and exhibiting at French museums such as the Musée des Beaux Arts. He struggled with mental health throughout his life, and died in a mental institution in Paris on March 26, 1979. He is profiled in LGBT African Americans (2014), by Kali Henderson and Dionn McDonald.