Works from Knoxville Museum of Art collection part of international exhibitions

December 13, 2023

Works by Beauford Delaney and Bessie Harvey from the Knoxville Museum of Art permanent collection are traveling the world as part of major art exhibitions. 

“We’re proud that the KMA collection is helping major institutions tell stories through these exhibitions,” said KMA Executive Director David Butler. “We appreciate the work of curator Steven Wicks and our collections staff who are helping to elevate Knoxville’s art and culture profile.” 

Works by Beauford Delaney and Bessie Harvey are included in an exhibition curated by the Art Institute of Chicago, “Project of a Black Planet: The Art and Culture of Panafrica.” Included from the KMA collection are “Self-Portrait in a Paris Bath House,” an oil on canvas work by Delaney, and “Wash Woman,” a mixed media sculpture by Harvey. 

The exhibition covers cultural production from the 1920s to the present and includes makers from Brazil and the Caribbean; North America and Western Europe; and many places on and around the African continent. It will tour between now and 2026 at the Art Institute of Chicago; the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona in Barcelona, Spain; and KANAL-Centre Pomidou in Brussels, Begium. 

In 2024, another Delaney work, “Blue Light Abstraction, circa 1962,” will be part of “Americans in Paris: Artists Working in Postwar France, 1946-1962.” It is the first major exhibition to examine the historical impact of the expatriate art scene in Paris after World War II. Between March 2024 and early 2025, venues will include the Grey Art Gallery at New York University; Addison Gallery of American Art in Andover, Massachusetts; and the Art Gallery at NYU in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. 

The Knoxville Museum of Art holds the world’s largest public collection of work by Beauford Delaney, including in its newly reimagined permanent exhibition, “Higher Ground: A Century of the Visual Arts in East Tennessee.” 

Admission to the Knoxville Museum of Art is free, sponsored in December by Emerson. Normal operating hours are Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sunday, 1-5 p.m.  

Located on the top floor, the KMA shop offers exhibition-related merchandise, posters, stationery, coffee table books along with textile, glass, wood and ceramic works and jewelry by local artists. It also offers fun and educational toys and games along with art supplies and books for children. Follow the museum shop on Instagram at @knoxartgiftshop.