David Driskell was a major figure in American art and art history. After earning his BFA from Howard University (1955) and MFA from Catholic University (1962), he pursued an advanced degree in art history from the Rijksbureau voor Kunsthistorisches Documentatie, Den Hague, Netherlands (1964). The twin pursuits of art making and art history defined his career. His groundbreaking early work on the history of African American art changed the field, establishing his expertise as a historian and challenging the Anglo-American bias of all preceding scholarship on American art.
At the same time, he remained a dedicated and productive artist, creating collages, prints, paintings, and sculptures that were the subject of countless one-person and group shows. The Hood Museum's Gate Leg Table is a tour-de-force, representing both the visual panache and intellectual rigor characteristic of Driskell's best work. He will be sorely missed and fondly remembered.