LEC: David C. Driskell: The James A. Porter Distinguished Lecture on Art and History @ Howard University

November 18, 2011
David C. Driskell: The James A. Porter Distinguished Lecture on Art and History
(Lecture/ Discussion)

Department of Art
Celebrating 90 Years of Artistic Excellence, Innovation and Creativity

The Department of Art is proud to present a conversation with David C. Driskell (B.A. ’55), Distinguished University Professor of Art, Emeritus at the University of Maryland, College Park, and recipient of the Doctor of Humanities, Howard University (2010). Drawing on his experiences as a former student of James V. Herring, Professor and the department’s founder, along with James A. Porter, Loïs Mailou Jones, and James L. Wells, the artists and educators who shaped the department’s early history, Dr. Driskell will discuss the energy and excitement that fostered his development as world-renowned artist, scholar, curator, and collector. Joined by Tritobia Hayes Benjamin (B.F.A. ’68 and M.A. ’68), Associate Dean, Division of Fine Arts, and Director of the Howard University Gallery of Art, this conversation promises to be both lively and legendary. The artist conversation is presented as the inaugural lecture in The James A. Porter Distinguished Lectures on Art and History.

Reception immediately following.


David C. Driskell was born in Eatonton, Georgia in 1931. Educated in the public schools of North Carolina, he received his undergraduate degree in art at Howard University and a Master of Fine Arts degree from the Catholic University of America, both in Washington, D.C. He pursued post-graduate study in Art History at The Netherlands Institute for the History of Art in The Hague and has studied independently, African and African American cultures in Europe, Africa and Central South America. He is also the recipient of 12 honorary doctoral degrees in art. Driskell received the National Humanities Medal from President Clinton on December 20, 2000 at a White House ceremony. He is the recipient of numerous fellowships, among them: three Rockefeller Foundation Fellowships, a Danforth Foundation Fellowship and a Harmon Foundation Fellowship. In 1995, Driskell was named Distinguished University Professor of Art at the University of Maryland, College Park, a title he now holds as Emeritus. He is a member of the National Academy, the nation’s most prestigious and oldest art organization to which one can be elected.


The Department of Art’s James A. Porter Distinguished Lecture Series on Art and History is established in honor of the memory and legacy of Professor James A. Porter, a graduate of Howard University’s Department of Art. Professor Porter, after further study at New York University, returned to teach at Howard University in 1928. He later served as chair of the Department of Art from 1953 to his death in 1970. His 1943 publication, Modern Negro Art, laid the foundation for the field of study in African American art history. It is the goal of the series to continue his legacy through scholarly exchange and artistic leadership.

Location: Gallery of Art, Childers Hall, Division of Fine Arts
Price: The lecture is free and open to the public.
Sponsor: Department of Art
Contact: Dr. Gwendolyn Everett
E-Mail geverett@howard.edu
(202) 806-7047

Author: Camara Dia Holloway

I am an art historian specializing in early twentieth century American art with particular focus on the history of photography, race and representation, and transatlantic modernist networks. I earned my PhD at Yale University in the History of Art Department. Besides my leadership role as the Founding Co-Director of the Association for Critical Race Art History (ACRAH), I am recognized for my expertise on African American Art, particularly African American Photography, and as a seasoned consultant for exhibitions, museum collections, and symposia/lectures planning.

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