Art and camaraderie outside museum walls

Stephen Wicks, curator of the Knoxville Museum of Art, and Nancy Wagner, who with her husband, Charles, opened their home last week to the Knoxville Museum of Art Collectors Circle.

One of the best things about being a member of the Knoxville Museum of Art Collectors Circle is the chance to see interesting and important works and mingle with other art lovers outside the walls of the Museum itself. My husband and I have gone on several extraordinary out-of-town trips with the Collectors Circle, but there’s also a lot to do right here in Knoxville.

Last week, collectors Charles and Nancy Wagner opened their lovely Sequoyah Hills home to Collectors Circle members to socialize and mingle amongst their varied and beautiful art collection. Of particular interest to me were the works of Beauford and Joseph Delaney that the Wagners have acquired.

Several of their Beauford Delaney pieces were missing, though. They were on loan to Chattanooga’s Hunter Museum of American Art for an exhibition called “Beauford Delaney’s Metamorphosis into Freedom,” organized by the Knoxville Museum of Art. KMA’s curator, Stephen Wicks, who has held that important post for more than 25 years, is an internationally recognized expert on the Delaneys and their art. He put together that exhibit, which will run at the Hunter through May 1.

Charles Wagner, left, with Knoxville artist Joe Parrott.

A Beauford Delaney piece.

From left, Susan Farris, Robin Turner and Len de Rohan.

Mike and Jane Fowler.

Here’s a pastel by Beauford Delaney that dates to the early 1930s shortly after his move to New York City.

People always gather in the food room!

Gorgeous roses.

I think it is clever to put nudes in the bathroom! This is a sketch by Joseph Delaney.

And another.

Victoria Daniel-Cape, left, and Sheena McCall.

From left, Kay Leibowitz, Susan Seymour and Jim Brown.

Jon Agazzi, left, and Bryant Creel.

This is not a Delaney, but I really liked it. This is a painting by John Twachtman, whom Charles Wagner described as a leading American Impressionist.

I thought this vase was stunning.

From left, Bob Cross and Kay and Larry Leibowitz.

From left, Alan Carmichael and Julia and Gary Bentley.

Marie Alcorn, left, with Sheena McCall.

Victoria Daniel-Cape chatting with host Charles Wagner.

Barbara Apking, left, and Robin Turner.

Amy and Bob Cross.

Stephen Wicks with Natalie McLaurin, KMA’s exhibitions manager.

The Wagners’ home.

If you are interested in more information about Beauford Delaney, his art and his relationship with James Baldwin, here’s a video Stephen Wicks made to accompany the Beauford Delaney exhibit that’s now in Chattanooga. He recorded this when the show was in Asheville in 2021:

Conversation with the Curator: Beauford Delaney’s Metamorphosis into Freedom – VIRTUAL

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5 Responses to Art and camaraderie outside museum walls

  1. Rusha Sams, on March 27th, 2023 at 3:16 pm said:

    Thanks for the art tour! Lovely pieces in a lovely home.

  2. Monique Anderson, on March 27th, 2023 at 4:13 pm said:

    I like his paintings.

  3. Cynthia Moxley, on March 27th, 2023 at 9:21 pm said:

    Rusha and Monique: It was a lovely evening. Low key and interesting.

  4. Rikki Taylor, on March 28th, 2023 at 7:45 pm said:

    That vase! Is it signed Taylor on the bottom. If so, thank you for the compliment. If not Taylor, still awesome!

  5. Christine Dano Johnson, on March 29th, 2023 at 3:21 pm said:

    So beautiful! Grateful for the Wagners’ cultivation and love of art in this community.

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