Delabano, Barney

Barney Delabano

  (Am. 1926-1997)

Barney Delabano (1926–1997) was born in Denison, Texas. He graduated from high school in 1942 and moved to Dallas to study at the Aunspaugh Art School. Delabano then studied painting under Olin Herman Travis at the Dallas Art Institute. Before entering the Army, Delabano became good friends with and worked alongside Charles T. Bowling. He entered Southern Methodist University in 1947 and for the next three years studied with Ed Bearden, Otis Dozier, and Jerry Bywaters. In the late forties, Delabano continued his studies with Bearden and Dozier at the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts School. In 1951, Mr. Delabano became a school teacher, teaching art for seven and a half years in the public school system. While teaching, he continued to study with Otis Dozier. In 1958, he joined the staff of the Dallas Museum of Art and continued there until his retirement in 1991. During his thirty-three years at the Museum, he worked as Assistant to the Director and Museum Exhibition Designer. He continued working as Designer Emeritus at the Dallas Museum of Art until his death in 1997. Much of Barney Delabano’s art had a figurative element. An entry in one of his sketchbooks from the mid-1940s recalled his early training at the Aunspaugh Art School: “Tonight I began thinking of Miss Aunspaugh. Somehow I think my best training was from her. Not so much from her school—as her herself. A gentle old sweet lady who somehow knows of greatness—she could dig up models of marvelous qualities—clean, wholesome faces.” In assessing his father’s work, Martin Delabano believes that Barney sought that same sort of simplicity and honesty in his own paintings. He found those “clean, wholesome faces” in his wife, his four children, his grandson, and among his friends. He painted them all with a quiet dignity. For the Delabano family, making art was always a family matter. Martin Delabano recalls one of the hazards of growing up in a family where painted portraits replaced walls of snapshots: if you weren’t out the door on summer mornings before Barney finished his coffee, you could find yourself serving as model for the day. Source: