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David Driskell

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Information about David Driskell

Profile image of David Driskell

Profession

Category:
ArtMakers
Occupation(s):
Art Professor
Curator
Fine Artist

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Gumbo
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Falmouth, Maine
Favorite Quote:
Don't let anyone tell you that you can't be anything you want to be.

Birthplace

Born:
6/7/1931
Birth Location:
Eatonton, Georgia

Profession

Category:
ArtMakers
Occupation(s):
Art Professor
Curator
Fine Artist

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Gumbo
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Falmouth, Maine
Favorite Quote:
Don't let anyone tell you that you can't be anything you want to be.

Birthplace

Born:
6/7/1931
Birth Location:
Eatonton
See how David Driskell is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Artist and scholar David Driskell is regarded as one of the world's leading authorities on African American art. Driskell was born on June 7, 1931 in Eatonton, Georgia. Educated in North Carolina's public schools, he earned his undergraduate degree at Howard University and a Master of Fine Arts degree from Catholic University in Washington, D.C. Driskell also pursued post-graduate studies in Art History at the Netherlands Institute for the History of Art in the Hague and studied African and African American cultures independently in Europe, Africa, and South America.

In 1976, Driskell opened his groundbreaking exhibition, "Two Centuries of Black American Art", at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The show prompted the creation of similar shows around the country. Driskell also penned the show's catalogue, an invaluable text to art scholars who previously had very little information available on African American artists.

Since 1977, Driskell has served as cultural advisor to Camille and Bill Cosby and curator of the Cosby Collection of Fine Arts. He placed works of African American artists on the set of "The Cosby Show". This is credited with creating a new class of African American art collectors.

Driskell has contributed significantly to the study of the role of African American artists in society. He has written five exhibition books, co-authored four others, and published more than forty catalogues from exhibitions he has curated. Driskell has lectured extensively in North America, Europe, Africa, and South America and has taught at numerous universities.

In 1998, the University of Maryland established the David C. Driskell Center for the Study of the African Diaspora. The Center honors Driskell's career as artist, educator, philanthropist, collector and art historian.

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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of David Driskell interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - David Driskell identifies five favorite things
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - David Driskell talks about his mother and her background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - David Driskell talks about his siblings and father
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - David Driskell discusses the education of blacks within his community
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - David Driskell shares memories of his time in Edenton, Georgia
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - David Driskell reflects on growing up in Edenton, Georgia
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - David Driskell describes his childhood personality and interests
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - David Driskell discusses his father's religious orientation
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - David Driskell reflects on growing up as the son of a preacher
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - David Driskell share a story about his name
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - David Driskell talks about the connection between his father and African traditions
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - David Driskell talks about his mother and her ability to make predictions
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - David Driskell details his decision to attend Howard University
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - David Driskell discusses the support he received from his sister and mother
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - David Driskell identifies several individuals who were supportive of him
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - David Driskell deliniates his living arrangements while at Howard University
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - David Driskell discusses his undergraduate major and James A. Porter
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - David Driskell talks about the undervalued contributions of James A. Porter
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - David Driskell discusses the environment and inspiration of the Barnett Aden Gallery
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - David Driskell reflects on the relationship that existed among artists
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - David Driskell talks about Louise Jones and his trip to Skowhagen
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - David Driskell details his first teaching experience at Talladega College
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - David Driskell shares details about how he met his wife
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - David Driskell talks about returning to Howard University and turning down Fisk University
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - David Driskell explains how he was recruited to Fisk University
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - David Driskell the history of Fisk University's art collection and his curation of the collection
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - David Driskell talks about his schedule and the value of Historically Black Colleges and Universities
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - David Driskell details the efforts to curate and conserve Fisk University's art collection
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - David Driskell discusses the role of white patrons
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - David Driskell talks about black arts education at various universities
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - David Driskell discusses the University of Maryland African American art history program and the faculty he recruited
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - David Driskell compares current efforts in African American studies with past efforts
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - David Driskell talks about his training in conservation and preservation
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - David Driskell talks about curators of African American art
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - David Driskell discusses the AfriCobra movement
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - David Driskell talks about art collectors and art agents
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - David Driskell talks about the market for African American art
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - David Driskell discusses his curatorial relationship with the Cosbys
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - David Driskell discusses his relationship with the Cosbys
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - David Driskell shares a story of a Henry O. Tanner painting and the Cosby family
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - David Driskell talks about his book on the Cosby collection
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - David Driskell talks about his art collection
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - David Driskell discusses his current endeavors
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - David Driskell reflects on his mentors and considers his legacy