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Huey Copeland.
Huey Copeland.

Huey Copeland Receives $25,000 David C. Driskell Prize

The High Museum of Art in Atlanta announced today that Huey Copeland, a professor of art history at Northwestern University in Illinois, has been awarded the 2019 David C. Driskell Prize in recognition of his scholarship on modern and contemporary art of the African diaspora and intersections of race, class, gender, and sexuality in Western visual culture.

Named after the renowned African American artist and art scholar, the $25,000 award was founded by the museum in 2005. It is the first national prize to celebrate an early- or midcareer scholar or artist whose work has made a significant contribution to the field of African American art or art history. Copeland will be honored at a dinner and awards ceremony that will be held at the institution on Friday, April 26. Proceeds from the event will support the David C. Driskell African American Art Acquisition Restricted and Endowment Funds.

“Dr. Copeland’s extensive accomplishments as an art historian and educator make him a deserving recipient of this year’s Driskell Prize,” said museum director Rand Suffolk. “We are honored to support his work, which inspires the next generation of scholars and grows appreciation and awareness of the important role of African American contemporary art in the broader art-historical canon.”

Copeland, a contributing editor at Artforum, has published extensively. His writing has been featured in various publications and scholarly journals, including the Art Journal, Callaloo, Nka, October, Representations, and Small Axe, as well as numerous international exhibition catalogues, such as Modern Women: Women Artists at the Museum of Modern Art, edited by Cornelia Butler and Alexandra Schwartz. Copeland published his first book, Bound to Appear: Art, Slavery, and the Site of Blackness in Multicultural America (University of Chicago Press), in 2013 and is currently working on two complementary book projects: In the Shadow of the Negress: Modern Artistic Practice in the Transatlantic World and Touched by the Mother: On Black Men, Artistic Practice, and Other Feminist Horizons, 1966–2016, a collection of his scholarly articles.

Past recipients of the prize include Amy Sherald, Naima J. Keith, Mark Bradford, Kirsten Pai Buick, Lyle Ashton Harris, Andrea Barnwell Brownlee, and Rashid Johnson.