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Press Release: David C. Driskell Center to Present First Ever Exhibition Juxtaposing Landscapes by African American Artists with Contemporaries


Contact: Ms. Dorit Yaron
Title: Deputy Director
Phone: 301-405-6835, Email:




COLLEGE PARK, MD. – 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, is proud to present its fall 2021 exhibition, American Landscapes; the exhibition is on view at the Driskell Center from September 9 through November 19, 2021. The exhibition is curated by Dorit Yaron, Deputy Director, assisted by Professor Curlee R. Holton, Director, both of the David C. Driskell Center, and is the first major exhibition in the Center’s physical space since the passing of Professor David C. Driskell in April 2020. The exhibition is also available virtually, on the Center website.

ABOUT THE EXHIBITION: American Landscapes continues the approach taken by the David C. Driskell Center with previous exhibitions such as Portraits of Who We Are (2018) and Posing Beauty in African American Culture (2019) of presenting thematic exhibitions that explore important topics, concepts, or ideas. Moreover, this exhibition is the first major exhibition at the Driskell Center to juxtapose African American artists with their contemporaries. It presents a comprehensive narrative of the contribution of African American artists to American art canon.

Professor Curlee R. Holton, Director of the Driskell Center, remarked:

            “The traditions of landscape painting embody the visions of Manifest Destiny, spiritual
             reverence, and the heroism embedded in the beauty and omnipotent power of our
             environment. Man has long been in awe of the presence of this natural expression of
             the divine. The artist, both past and present have sought to interpret and re-present
             this wonderment in hopes of expressing how the world presents itself to us and how
             we present ourselves to it.”

The works in this exhibition were selected based on the contribution of the artists to the field of landscape art and are dated from 1850 to 2020. Of the 73 works, over half are selected from the Driskell Center collection, with others borrowed from outside collections and artist studios. Artists featured in this exhibition include:

Black and Grey Banner

Ansel Adams (1902-1984)
Benny Andrews (1930-2006)
Mason Archie
Edward Mitchell Bannister (1828-1901)
Jamaal Barber
George Biddle (1885-1973)
Willie Birch (b. 1942)
Grafton Tyler Brown (1841-1918)
Beverly Buchanan (1940-2015)
Charles Burchfield (1893-1967)
Zoë Charlton (b. 1973)
Claude Clark (1915-2001)
Linda Day Clark (b. 1963)
Kevin Cole (b. 1960)
Floyd Coleman (1939-2018)
John E. Costigan (1888-1972)
Joseph Delaney (1904-1991)
Louis Delsarte (1944-2020)
Aaron Douglas (1899-1979)
John E. Dowell, Jr. (b. 1941)
David C. Driskell (1931-2020)
Robert Seldon Duncanson (1821-1872)
Asher B. Durand (1796-1886)


Black and Grey Banner

Sam Gilliam (b. 1933)
Leo Antony Gleaton (1948-2015)
April Gornik (b. 1953)
Palmer Hayden (1890-1973)
Albert William Heckman (1893-1971)
Barkley L. Hendricks (1945-2017)
James V. Herring (1887-1969)
Henry Livingston Hillyer (1840-1886)
Felrath Hines (1913-1993)
Robin Holder (b. 1952)
Nene Humphrey (b. 1947)
Clementine Hunter (1889-1988)
George Inness (1825-1894)
Martha Jackson Jarvis (b. 1952)
Malvin Gray Johnson (1896-1934)
William H. Johnson (1901-1970)
Loïs Mailou Jones (1905-1998)
Wolf Kahn (1927-2020)
Paul F. Keene, Jr. (1920-2009)
Rockwell Kent (1882-1971)
Hughie Lee-Smith (1915-1999)
Norman W. Lewis (1909-1979)
Juan Logan (b. 1946)

Black and Grey Banner

Sally Mann (b. 1951)
Delita Martin (b. 1972)
Richard Mayhew (b. 1924)
Julie Mehretu (b. 1970)
Stephanie E. Pogue (1944-2002)
Charles Ethan Porter (1847-1923)
Charles Prendergast (1863-1948)
Maurice Prendergast (1858-1924)
Peter L. Robinson, Jr. (1932-2015)
Gilda Snowden (1954-2014)
Therman Statom (b. 1953)
Lou Stovall (b. 1937)
Freddie L. Styles (b. 1944)
Henry Ossawa Tanner (1859-1937)
Penelope Umbrico (b. 1957)
Gloria Laura Vanderbilt (1924-2019)
Kara Elizabeth Walker (b. 1969)
Kay WalkingStick (b. 1935)
Thomas Worthington Whittredge (1820-1910)
Walter H. Williams (1920-1998)
Grant DeVolson Wood (1891-1942)
Hale Woodruff (1900-1980)

Additionally, the exhibition includes a selection of 30 landscape works by Professor Driskell, known for his love and depiction of pine trees, gardens, and landscapes.

“Landscape as an act, as verb, as knowledge, is fundamentally a fashioning of self.”

Dr. Horace D. Ballard, in his essay “In Pharaoh’s Garden: Toward Landscape and a Black Aesthetics of Self” for the exhibition catalogue

American Landscapes is accompanied by a catalogue, supported by a generous grant from the Terra Foundation for American Art, and includes essays from Horace D. Ballard, Curator of American Art at Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown, Mass., and Assistant Professor Maggie Cao, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Exploring the unique power of nineteenth century Black landscape art, in her essay for the American Landscapes catalogue, “Racial Geographies and Nineteenth-Century Landscape,” Professor Cao links Black landscape art to “the evolving mobility of artists and consumers – their movement through racially codified spaces using means linked to privilege,” and that “For African American landscapists who succeeded in spite of [their] circumstances, the possibilities and limits of mobility are present, even if concealed, in their work.”

A symposium, American Landscapes: Nature, Beauty and Historywill be held in conjunction with the exhibition and will feature presentations by the essayists, artists, and scholars, who will address topics such as the Hudson River School, American landscapes, and surveys of landscape and African American artists. The symposium will be held in hybrid format, with opportunities to attend and participate in-person and online. American Landscapes: Nature, Beauty, and History is presented in collaboration with The Phillips Collection, and is scheduled for October 28, 2021, at 6pm EDT. Registration information is forthcoming.

The opening event, which will be virtual, is scheduled for September 9, 2021, at 6PM. Click here to register for the event. In addition to the opening reception, the Driskell Center will host three in-person guided tours led by the Center's Director, Curlee R. Holton. Each tour will be limited to 40 people. Please check the Center website and emails for additional information including dates and registration.  

The David C. Driskell Center Gallery is open Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and selected Saturdays [Sep. 25th, Oct. 16th, and Nov. 13th] 11AM-4PM, and Wednesdays 11AM-6PM.



The David C. Driskell Center honors the legacy of David C. Driskell—a Distinguished University Professor Emeritus of Art, Artist, Art Historian, Collector, Curator, and Philanthropist—by preserving the rich heritage of African American visual art and culture. The Driskell Center is committed to preserving, documenting, and presenting African American art, as well as replenishing and expanding the field of African American art. All programs at the David C. Driskell Center are free and open to the public. The facility is wheelchair accessible. For further information regarding exhibitions and activities at the Driskell Center, please call 301.314.2615 or visit The Driskell Center’s programming is supported in part by a grant from the Maryland State Arts Council and private donors. The exhibition and its programing will be presented in person following regulations from the state, county, and University of Maryland, and may change at any time.