Project Participants

Narratives of African American Art and Identity...

Ira Berlin, Professor of History at the University of Maryland, has written extensively on American history in the nineteenth century, particularly on Southern and Afro-American life. His first book, Slaves Without Masters: The Free Negro in the Antebellum South (1975) won the Best First Book Prize awarded by the National Historical Society. Berlin is the founder of the distinguished Freedmen and Southern Society Project. His articles and reviews have appeared in The New York Times, The Nation, American Historical Review, The Journal of Negro History, and other popular and scholarly periodicals. Berlin has served as a member of the Advisory Board of the National Archives, and as a consultant to the Smithsonian Institution and Ken Burn's "Civil War" documentary. His most recent work, a study of African American life between 1619 and 1819 entitled Many Thousands Gone: The First Two Centuries of Slavery in Mainland North America, was published by Harvard University Press in 1998.

M. Colleen Chapman, Project Coordinator for the Driskell Exhibition, is a Master's candidate in the Department of English at the University of Maryland. She has created and taught museum courses on African American art and culture for elementary and middle school students. As a feature writer for Gannett Newspapers, Chapman wrote extensively on the urban world through the eyes of inner-city children. She received her B.A. in Religion and Classics from the University of Rochester and is currently completing her Master's Thesis Colonizing, Decolonizing, and Recolonizing the Oxford English Dictionary.

Adrienne Childs, Assistant Currator and Catalogue Production Manager for the Narratives exhibition, and Curator of the companion exhibition Echoes: The Art of David C. Driskell, is a graduate student in the Department of Art History and Archaeology at the University of Maryland. Childs earned an M.B.A. from Howard University and a B.A. in Art History from Georgetown University. She has held positions at the African American Museums Association, The Charles Sumner School Museum and Archives, and the DuSable Museum for African American History. As curator for the Sumner Museum and Archives, Childs organized an exhibition of Driskell's work in 1988.

Tuliza Fleming, Assistant Curator for the Narratives exhibition, is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Art History and Archaeology at the University of Maryland. She received her M.A. in Art History from Maryland and a B.A. in Art History and Art Studio from Spelman College. Fleming has served in numerous professional research and curatorial positions including that of guest curator for Breaking Racial Barriers: African Americans in the Harmon Foundation Collection at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC, for which she served as principal author of the accompanying exhibition catalogue.

Terry Gips is Director of The Art Gallery and Associate Professor of Art at the University of Maryland. In addition to The David C. Driskell Collection exhibition, Gips has overseen the production of several major exhibitions and catalogues at The Art Gallery including: SOURCES: Multicultural Influences on African American Sculptors; Significant Losses: Artists Who Have Died From AIDS; and Terra Firma, an exhibition of contemporary women's art on the body. Gips writes on women in the arts and the relationship of technology to art, and is a practicing artist.

Allan M. Gordon, retired Professor Emeritus in Art History at the California State University in Sacramento, has previously published on Driskell's work. A well known scholar and critic in the field of African American aesthetics, Gordon has authored numerous essays on Black aesthetics and culture, African American woman artists, and connections between Black art and music. He has served as contributing editor for Art Week since 1991.

Juanita M. Holland, Curator for the exhibition, is Assistant Professor in the Department of Art History and Archaeology at the University of Maryland. She received her Ph.D. in African American art history from Columbia University, specializing in Arts of the African Diaspora. Dr. Holland writes, lectures, and teaches on the various ways in which the arts of people of African decent engage and reflect issues of assimilation and the construction of ethnic and artistic identity in North and South American and Caribbean cultures.

Kim Kindelsperger, Education and Events Coordinator for the Narratives exhibition, is a recent graduate from the Department of Art History and Archaeology and Department of Women's Studies at the University of Maryland, focusing on contemporary art and theoretical issues. She has served in several research positions including a post at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden under the Associate Curator.

Keith Morrison is Dean of the College of Creative Arts, San Francisco State University. He is an artist, writer, curator, and educator. He has exhibited internationally, including the Art Institute of Chicago; the Museum of Modern Art, Monterrey, Mexico; the National Museum of American Art; the Corcoran Gallery of Art; The National Collection of Fine Arts; the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts; and the Caribbean Biennale. He has published many articles and catalogues and has taught and lectured in universities, art schools, and cultural institutions around the world.

Sharon F. Patton, an art historian and curator, is Director of the Allen Memorial Museum at Oberlin College. Previously, she was Director of the Center for Afro-American & African Studies at the University of Michigan and Associate Professor in the Department of the History of Art. Patton received her Ph.D. in Art History from Northwestern University. She has served in various curatorial positions including chief curator for Traditional Forms and Modern Africa: West African Art at the University of Maryland (1983), and chief curator of the Studio Museum in Harlem, where she coordinated The Decade Show: Frameworks of Identity in the 1980s and Memory and Metaphor: The Art of Romare Bearden. Her most recent publication is African-American Art in the Oxford University Press History of Art Series.

Carla Peterson is Co-Chair of the Committee on Africa and the Americas, Professor in the Department of English and the Comparative Literature Program, and affiliate faculty of the Women's Studies and American Studies departments at the University of Maryland. She is currently researching cultures and texts of the Black Atlantic and nineteenth-century African American literary culture, with a focus on intersections of race and gender, fiction and non-fictional narrative, and minority discourse. Her works in progress include: a family memoir, Family and Friends: The Making of New York's Black Elite (1830-1930); and two readers, Columns of Hope, Columns of Fear: Readings from the African American Press (1827-1910), coedited with Shelly Fisher Fishkin, and African-American Intellectual and Cultural Traditions (1776-1996): Major Statements, coedited with Marilyn Mobley. Peterson's major publications include Doers of the Word: African American Women Speakers and Writers in the North (1830-1880), and The Determined Reader: Gender and Culture in the Novel from Napoleon to Victoria.

Richard J. Powell, Chair of the Department of Art and Art History at Duke University, has written extensively on African American art. His most recent publication, Black Art and Culture in the 20th Century was released earlier this year. Powell has authored numerous essays in journals and has edited collections and exhibition catalogues. His major publications include The Blues Aesthetic: Black Culture and Modernism (1989) and Homecoming: The Art and Life of William H. Johnson (1991). He is also a noted curator, having coordinated exhibitions for the Smithsonian Institution, The Studio Museum in Harlem, and the Washington Project for the Arts. He received his Ph.D. in Art History from Yale University.

Jennifer Strychasz, is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Art History and Archaeology at the University of Maryland, where she also received her M.A. Her research interests include African American art with religious themes, particularly post-1960 "Black Christ" imagery. She has served in several teaching and museum capacities: as a Museum Fellow at the National Museum of African Art, in a contract position as a research assistant to the Director of that Museum, and as both a teaching assistant and lecturer for African art survey courses. She is currently an assistant in a museum consulting firm, and is preparing a course for Spring 1999 on African American art and identity.


David Driskell