About the Artist
A student of both Howard University and The Catholic University of America, Driskell received a Master of Fine Arts degree in 1961. He was arguably, regarded as the world’s leading authority on African American Art and is remembered for his pioneering efforts in establishing the scholarly investigation of and valuation of work by Black artists. An artist, scholar and curator, he was as prolific with the palette as he was with a recording African American art history and curating exhibitions. Driskell curated a countless number of exhibitions and wrote numerous catalogs, books, and essays. His research appeared several of the world’s most prominent publications. A much sought after artist in his own right, Driskell worked principally in painting, collage and mixed media. He had great command of fusing abstraction imagery, African elements, and historical narratives.
Image Credit: David Hills
The Artist’s Work in Other Collections (selected)
The Baltimore Museum of Art, MD; High Museum of Art, GA; National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; National Museum of African American History and Culture, Washington, D.C. Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, PA; Portland Museum of Art, ME; The Studio Museum in Harlem, NY; and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, VA.
The Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Baltimore Museum of Art, The Oakland Museum and The Whitney Museum of American Art, among others. Driskell also exhibited internationally in England, Holland, South Africa, Poland, Brazil, Japan and Chile.
Awards, Commissions, Public Works
Distinguished University Professor of Art, Emeritus, at the University of Maryland, College Park
October 1997, Driskell was awarded the President’s Medal, the highest honor the University of Maryland bestows on a member of its faculty.
The University of Maryland in 1998, created The David C. Driskell Center for the Study of the African Diaspora was founded to promote his scholarship and service to the University
The Harmon Foundation (fellowship), Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship (three) and the Danforth Foundation fellowship).
Affiliations (past and current)
University of Maryland, College Park, Fisk University
Amistad Research Center
David Driskell received the Presidential Medal from William Jefferson Clinton in December 2000 as a National Endowment for the Humanities recipient.