Driskell Prize

Established by the High Museum of Art in 2005, the David C. Driskell Prize in African American Art and Art History recognizes field-defining contributions to African American art by some of the leading scholars and artists from around the country. Named in honor of the late artist and scholar David C. Driskell, this prize is the first in the country to recognize the importance of African American art. Acknowledging Driskell’s own extraordinary gifts as both a historian and an artist, the prize annually alternates between awarding a practicing US-based African American artist and an art historian whose artistic practice or scholarly work makes an original and important contribution to the visual arts and study of African American art. The recipient of the prize receives $50,000 in unrestricted funds to use toward the furthering of their research or artistic practice.

The annual Driskell Gala honors the legacy of David Driskell and celebrates the prize winner who will be presented with their award. The arts event of the season, this gala brings together friends and patrons of the Museum from around the city and the country who support the High’s commitment to African American art and artists. Proceeds from this evening contribute to the David C. Driskell African American Art Acquisition Restricted and Endowment Funds, which are used to support the acquisition of African American art, as well as exhibitions and education programs presenting African American artwork. The Driskell Gala is a critical revenue resource for the continued engagement of initiatives around African American art at the High Museum of Art.