The Passing of David C. Driskell

Portrait photograph of David C. Driskell in painting studio

Today, we pause to reflect on the passing of the great David C. Driskell, a son of Howard University and honored former member of our faculty. Throughout his life, Driskell devoted himself to preserving the rich heritage of African-American visual art and culture, and his contributions as an artist, scholar, and curator laid the groundwork for the study of African-American art history.

Born in 1931 in Eatonton, Ga., David Driskell grew up in North Carolina and earned an undergraduate degree in liberal arts from Howard University in 1955. He also completed the art program at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine and obtained an MFA from Catholic University. Over the years, he has received 13 honorary doctoral degrees in art, including an honorary degree from Howard University in 2010. After college, Dr. Driskell collected African American art and artifacts dating from the era of slave ships to modern times. Today, he is viewed as one of the primary people responsible for bringing African Americans into the mainstream of American art.

Please see President Wayne A. I. Frederick's full letter to the Howard University community here.

Please see the Board of Trustees Resolution here.


Gallery of Art