Carol Vogel talks about the Brooklyn Museum’s new acquisition:
The Brooklyn Museum has acquired its first painting by the 20th-century African-American artist Beauford Delaney. A still life that Mr. Delaney created in 1945 when he was working out of a cold-water loft in Greene Street — years before most artists settled in SoHo — the painting, “Untitled (Fang, Crow, and Fruit),” depicts a bowl of bright yellow fruit and next to it a Fang reliquary figure. A bird, hovering above the bowl, looks as if it were about to swoop down and devour the fruit. […]
The Brooklyn Museum bought “Untitled (Fang, Crow, and Fruit)” from the Michael Rosenfeld Gallery in Chelsea for an undisclosed price, with money from the museum’s five-year-old African American Purchase Fund. “I’d seen the work a few years ago, but at the time we couldn’t afford it,” Ms. Carbone said. “It’s so powerful it stayed with me.” The painting fits well in two categories in the museum’s holdings — the first, its growing collection of 20th-century African-American artists, and the second, its strong group of American Modernist works that include paintings by Stuart Davis and Marsden Hartley. “Delaney and Davis were close friends,” Ms. Carbone added. “And this painting allows us to discuss traditional African-American art alongside Black Modernists. I believe we were the first museum to show African-American art as early as the 1920s.”
“Untitled (Fang, Crow, and Fruit)” will go on view on Feb. 24 in the museum’s fifth-floor “American Identities” galleries.
Weldon Collection of Paintings to Be Sold at Sotheby’s (NYTimes.com)