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John Wilmerding Symposium on American Art 2020, A Tribute to David C. Driskell: Part 3, Torchbearer of a Legacy

Valerie Cassel Oliver, Sydney and Frances Lewis Family Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, and David C. Driskell Prize recipient (2011)

In this presentation recorded on August 26, 2020, Valerie Cassel Oliver traces David C. Driskell’s career from the mid-1950s at Howard University—arguably the birthplace of African American art history—through to his influence on contemporary artists and scholars who are ensuring that this legacy continues. A Howard University alumna and David C. Driskell Prize recipient, Cassel Oliver elucidates the particulars of Driskell’s education and work, while demonstrating his role as a nurturer, standard-bearer, and torchbearer of knowledge. She concludes with a discussion of the deep responsibility of being custodians of the living history of African American art. The fourth annual John Wilmerding Symposium on American Art was held in partnership with the David C. Driskell Center for the Study of the Visual Arts and Culture of African Americans and the African Diaspora at the University of Maryland, College Park, and Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture. This program was made possible by a grant from the Alice L. Walton Foundation.