The annual Beauford Delaney-Villa Albertine Research Grant supports French researchers studying Black American art history. Kelly-Christina Grant will travel to Atlanta, New York, Boston, and Martha’s Vineyard to further develop her project on Jones’ landscape painting.
New York and Paris, November 28, 2023—Kelly-Christina Grant has been awarded the third annual Beauford Delaney-Villa Albertine Research Grant, supporting France-based scholars’ research on Black American art. The competitive grant, which includes financial support for research as well as a residency in the US with Villa Albertine, is a collaboration between Villa Albertine and France’s Institut national d’histoire de l’art (INHA), in partnership with Albertine Foundation, and with the support of Ford Foundation.
About the project: ‘The Black Atlantic of Loïs Mailou Jones’
Loïs Mailou Jones, a major artist of the Black American scene, lived and worked throughout the 20th century, and was highly inspired by her travels to France, Haiti, and the African continent. Taking an inter- and transdisciplinary approach, this project, which is Kelly-Christina Grant’s doctoral dissertation, examines the political, social, gender, and racial issues surrounding Jones’ practice of landscape painting. From the question of Black identity generated by past and present generations of intellectuals, to the development of contemporary impressionist painting, to the use of landscape as a cultural instrument or the study of the relationship between gender and landscape in contemporary art, the project approaches the crossroads of African American studies, cultural and visual studies, the anthropology of images, gender studies, and more.
About Kelly-Christina Grant
Kelly-Christina Grant is a doctoral student in art history at Université Paris Nanterre. Her research project, “Loïs Mailou Jones’s Black Atlantic,” establishes a dialogue between Jones’s landscape painting (1905-1998) and the principles of mobility, interculturality and hybridity. She will explore the archives and works of this major figure in twentieth-century Black American art to better understand Jones’ complex, multi-faceted œuvre. Kelly-Christina Grant has been awarded the 2023-2024 Terra Foundation Fellowship for American Art to carry out an initial six-month residency at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington DC for her research on the same subject.
The Beauford Delaney-Villa Albertine Research Grant, awarded as part of Villa Albertine’s residency program, will enable Kelly-Christina Grant to pursue archival fieldwork in Atlanta, New York, Boston and Martha’s Vineyard. Customized support from the Villa Albertine team will help connect her with the best contacts and resources in each city.
“Loïs Mailou Jones’ deep artistic connection to France, particularly through her landscape work, brings up fascinating questions about the exchange of art and ideas across barriers of geography and culture, as well as race, gender, and class. And of course, these questions remain highly relevant today,” noted Judith Roze, Acting Director of Villa Albertine. “Our sincerest congratulations to Kelly-Christina Grant; we look forward to collaborating on this important residency.”
The grant is named for Beauford Delaney (1901–79), an acclaimed American modernist painter who took part in the Harlem Renaissance and later delved into abstract expressionism in Paris. Now in its third year, the grant supports art historians working in France who wish to conduct original research in the United States on Black American art. In so doing, it aims to promote the work of African American artists in France, shed light on the practices of artists whose work has been traditionally underrepresented in art history, and draw out these artists’ individuality and their relationship with the complex global art historical landscape.
The 2023 selection committee is comprised of:
- Eric de Chassey, General Director, INHA
- France Nerlich, Director of the Department of Studies and Research, INHA
- Olivier Le Falher, Program Officer, Visual Arts, Architecture, & Design, Villa Albertine
- Dominique Taffin, Director of the Foundation for the Rememberance of Slavery
- Anna Arabindan-Kesson, Associate Professor, Department of African American Studies/Department of Art and Archaeology, Princeton University
Beyond the Beauford Delaney-Villa Albertine Research Grant, Villa Albertine further supports the development and visibility of Black American artists in France through several grant and residency opportunities, in partnership with Ford Foundation. Currently, multidisciplinary artist David Hartt is in France conducting a pedagogical residency with ANdEA (Association nationale des écoles supérieures d’art et design publiques. In France he is working with art and design schools around the concept that he has dubbed ‘Terraforming’, an analysis of the ways in which the landscape, now inextricable from the built environment, is shaped to reflect contrasting and concurrent cultural values.
Institut National d’Histoire de l’Art (INHA)
The INHA is a leading research institute dedicated to art history. It welcomes scholars and curators from all horizons and offers free access to one of the largest art history libraries in the world. Its scientific programs cover fundamental research from antiquity to the present day and address issues that concern our society today. The INHA supports research through a wide range of invitation programs, grants and scholarships.
Previously known as FACE Foundation, Albertine Foundation is an American nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting French-American relations through innovative cultural and educational projects. In partnership with the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States, Albertine Foundation promotes artistic, literary, and educational exchange and collaboration between creative professionals from both countries. With additional corporate, foundation, and individual support, Albertine Foundation administers grant programs in the performing and visual arts, cinema, translation, and secondary and higher education, while providing financial sponsorship to French-American festivals and other cultural initiatives. Albertine Foundation focuses on new and recent work of living artists and the promotion of bilingualism and the French language.
The Ford Foundation is an independent organization working to address inequality and build a future grounded in justice. For more than 85 years, it has supported visionaries on the frontlines of social change worldwide, guided by its mission to strengthen democratic values, reduce poverty and injustice, promote international cooperation, and advance human achievement. Today, with an endowment of $16 billion, the foundation has headquarters in New York and 10 regional offices across Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East.