David Driskell, PhD

Professor of Art, Emeritus,
University of Maryland
Highly regarded as an artist, scholar, and curator, David Driskell is one of the world's leading authorities on the subject of African American art. He has been the recipient of ten honorary doctoral degrees and has contributed significantly to scholarship in the history of art on the role of black artists in America. He has authored seven books on the subject of African American art, co-authored four others, and published more than forty exhibition catalogs. His articles and essays on African American art have appeared in major publications throughout the world.

Driskell attended Howard University and received an MFA degree in 1961 from the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. He is the Distinguished University Professor of Art, Emeritus, at the University of Maryland, College Park and recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award in Art from Howard University (1981), and the Catholic University of America (1996).

In October, 1997, Driskell was awarded the President's Medal, the highest honor the University of Maryland bestows on a member of its faculty. He received the Presidential Medal from President William Jefferson Clinton in December 2000 as a National Endowment for the Humanities recipient. Upon his retirement from teaching at the University of Maryland in 1998, the David C. Driskell Center for the Study of the African Diaspora was founded to promote his scholarship and service to the university. In June of 2006, Driskell joined the Board of Trustees of the University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland, and was inducted into the National Academy Museum.

Trained as a painter and art historian, Driskell works principally in collage and mixed media. His paintings and prints have been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions in galleries and museums throughout the US and abroad, including the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Oakland Museum, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. He has been the recipient of several fellowships, including a Harmon Foundation, Danforth Foundation, and three Rockefeller Foundation Fellowships.

In October 2006, Pomegranate Artbooks published David Driskell: Artist and Scholar by Julie McGee. This is the first biography and comprehensive monograph on the artist.