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Press Release  
Release Date: Tuesday, January 3, 2012 11:10 AM
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Rachel Mann
Communications Specialist
Howard Department of Art Celebrates 90th Anniversary
Legendary Alumnus to Speak at Lecture

WASHINGTON (November 14, 2011) – The Howard University Department of Art will host an artist conversation with world-renowned scholar and university alumnus David C. Driskell on Friday, November 18th at 4 p.m. The conversation is presented as the inaugural lecture in The James A. Porter Distinguished Lecture Series on Art and History and will launch the Department of Art’s 90th anniversary celebration this academic year.

The lecture will be presented in the Howard University Gallery of Art, Childers Hall, Division of Fine Arts, on the main campus of Howard University at 2455 Sixth Street, NW, Washington, DC 20059. The lecture is free and open to the public.

As a former student of James V. Herring, the professor who founded the department along with James A. Porter, Loïs Mailou Jones, and James L. Wells, Driskell will discuss the energy and excitement that fostered his development as a curator, art historian, and collector. He will be joined by other distinguished alumni of the Howard University Department of Art, including Tritobia Hayes Benjamin (B.F.A. ’68 and M.A. ’70) associate dean, Division of Fine Arts, and director of the Howard University Gallery of Art.

Driskell received the National Humanities Medal from President Clinton at a White House ceremony in December 2000. He is the recipient of numerous fellowships, among them: three Rockefeller Foundation Fellowships, a Danforth Foundation Fellowship and a Harmon Foundation Fellowship. He is a member of the National Academy, the nation’s most prestigious and oldest art organization to which one can be elected.

David C. Driskell
            David C. Driskell

Born in Eatonton, Georgia in 1931, Driskell was educated in the public schools of North Carolina. He received his undergraduate degree in art at Howard in 1955 and a Master of Fine Arts degree from the Catholic University of America. He pursued post-graduate study in Art History at The Netherlands Institute for the History of Art in The Hague and has studied 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 is a distinguished professor of art emeritus at the University of Maryland, College Park. He is the recipient of the Doctor of Humanities, Howard University (2010).

The Department of Art’s James A. Porter Distinguished Lecture Series on Art and History was 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 a period of 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.

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