Newly-acquired Joseph Delaney Sketch on Display
January 19, 2020

A sketch by Knoxville-born artist Joseph Delaney is currently on display in the Betsey B. Creekmore Special Collections and University Archives.

Joseph Delaney (1904-1991) — along with his better-known brother Beauford (1901-1978) — discovered art as an expressive outlet early in childhood. After traveling and working uninspiring jobs for many years, Joseph Delaney moved to New York City in 1930 and began studying art with more focus at the famed Art Students League. Often working in charcoal and ink, much of Delaney’s work includes portraits and figure studies as well as elaborate and energetic scenes of life in Manhattan. Delaney moved back to Knoxville in 1986 to be artist-in-residence at the University of Tennessee where he remained until his death.

The sketch on display in the Betsey B. Creekmore Classroom is one of three newly-acquired pieces by Delaney from his time at the Art Students League of New York in 1936. Also on display are images of Delaney in his apartment and studio, taken in the 1960s, offering a glimpse of the artist at work.

Photograph of Joseph Delaney by Arthur Pembleton (Alex Haley Papers, MS.1888, Special Collections, University of Tennessee Libraries)