David C. Driskell
One of the world’s leading authorities on the subject of African American Art, Driskell is highly regarded as both an artist and a scholar. Born in 1931 in Eatonton, Georgia, Driskell completed the art program at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 1953 and then earned his undergraduate degree in art from Howard University (1955) and an M.F.A. from Catholic University of America (1962). In 1976, Driskell curated the groundbreaking exhibition “Two Centuries of Black American Art: 1750-1950” which was foundational in the field of African American art history.
Prof. Driskell joined the faculty of the Department of Art at the University of Maryland, College Park in 1977 where he taught until his retirement in 1998. He served as Art Department Chairperson from 1978-1983 and was named Distinguished University Professor of Art in 1995.
In 2000 Prof. Driskell was honored by President Bill Clinton as one of 12 recipients of the National Humanities Medal. In 2001, the University of Maryland established the David C. Driskell Center to honor Prof. Driskell as an artist, art historian, collector, curator, and scholar. In 2005, the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, GA, established the David C. Driskell Prize, the first national award to honor and celebrate contributions to the field of African American art and art history. In 2007, Prof. Driskell was elected as a National Academician by the National Academy.