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Future Exhibitions


Collage by David C. Driskell.

David Driskell: Icons of Nature and History

February 6–May 9, 2021

David Driskell (1931–2020) was one of the most revered American artists of his generation, long recognized for his vibrant and versatile painting and printmaking practices that combined keen observations of the American landscape with the imagery and aesthetic innovations of the African diaspora.

Although Driskell’s work was regularly presented in galleries and museums during his lifetime, in both solo and group exhibitions, this is the first exhibition to unite his paintings and works on paper, bringing approximately sixty artworks together to present highlights of his career. It is also the first major survey of his work since his death in April 2020 at the age of eighty-eight.

The exhibition surveys seven decades of the artist’s painterly practice from the 1950s to the 2000s, featuring works from museums and private collections and the artist’s estate. Select works establish the evolution of his use of collage as a medium, while others exemplify his signature incorporation of African images and forms

Interested in supporting this exhibition? Become a Patron of David Driskell.

This exhibition is co-organized by the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, and the Portland Museum of Art, Maine, with support from The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC.

Click on an image below to learn more.


David Driskell was born in Eatonton, Georgia, in 1931. He graduated from Howard University in 1955, received an MFA from Catholic University in 1962, and attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture In 1953.

A lifelong educator, Driskell honed his teaching repertoire at HBCUs between 1955 through 1977, teaching at Talladega College, Howard University, and Fisk University. From 1977 through 1997, Driskell taught at the University of Maryland, College Park, which is now the home of the David C. Driskell Center, an exhibition space and research institute that houses Driskell’s archive. In addition to a growing collection of African American art, it serves as a study center for the history of African American art and art of the African diaspora.

The High Museum of Art’s relationship with Driskell began in 1977 when the Museum presented Driskell’s landmark exhibition, Two Centuries of Black American Art, the first traveling museum exhibition dedicated to works made exclusively by African American artists in the United States between 1750 and 1950. In 2000, the Museum presented the concurrent exhibitions To Conserve a Legacy: American Art from Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Narratives of African American Art and Identity: The David C. Driskell Collection, which examined African American art in the broad historical context of modern and contemporary art. Established by the High Museum in 2005, the David C. Driskell Prize is the first national award to honor and celebrate contributions to the field of African American art and art history.


Organization and Support

David Driskell: Icons of Nature and History is co-organized by the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, and the Portland Museum of Art, Maine.

National Tour Sponsorship Provided By

Bank of America logo.

Major Funding Provided By
National Endowment for the Arts
Brenda and Larry Thompson

Premier Exhibition Series Sponsor

Delta logo.

Exhibition Series Sponsor

Northside Hospital logo.

Premier Exhibition Series Supporters
Sarah and Jim Kennedy
wish Foundation logo.

Benefactor Exhibition Series Supporters
Anne Cox Chambers Foundation
Robin and Hilton Howell

Ambassador Exhibition Supporters
The Antinori Foundation
Corporate Environments
Louise Sams and Jerome Grilhot

Contributing Exhibition Series Supporters
Farideh and Al Azadi
Sandra and Dan Baldwin
The Ron and Lisa Brill Family Charitable Trust
The Fred and Rita Richman Fund
Lucinda W. Bunnen
Marcia and John Donnell
Mr. and Mrs. Baxter Jones
The Arthur R. and Ruth D. Lautz Charitable Foundation
Joel Knox and Joan Marmo
Margot and Danny McCaul

Generous support is also provided by
Alfred and Adele Davis Exhibition Endowment Fund, Anne Cox Chambers Exhibition Fund, Barbara Stewart Exhibition Fund, Dorothy Smith Hopkins Exhibition Endowment Fund, Eleanor McDonald Storza Exhibition Endowment Fund, The Fay and Barrett Howell Exhibition Fund, Forward Arts Foundation Exhibition Endowment Fund, Helen S. Lanier Endowment Fund, Isobel Anne Fraser–Nancy Fraser Parker Exhibition Endowment Fund, John H. and Wilhelmina D. Harland Exhibition Endowment Fund, Katherine Murphy Riley Special Exhibition Endowment Fund, Margaretta Taylor Exhibition Fund, and the RJR Nabisco Exhibition Endowment Fund.