Painting by David Driskell of Hyattsville on display at the DC Museum

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Image from “Woman With Flowers” by David Driskell courtesy of the Phillips Collection

The late Hyattsville artist and educator David Driskell is the subject of a new exhibition at Phillips collection in the Dupont district.

Driskell, who died of Covid-19 last year and is the namesake of Driskell Park, is best known for his work promoting African American art, including a groundbreaking exhibition in 1976, but he also made paintings, drawings, collages, and prints in a different styles.

One of his early works in the exhibition is the painting from 1956 “See, your son” a modern version of a Pietà – a classic work of art depicting the Virgin Mary cradling the body of Jesus after the crucifixion – inspired by the open box at the funeral of Emmett Till.

Curator and art historian Adrienne Childs said PBS NewsHour that the museum felt it was “time” to focus on its work.

“I think his work was overlooked because his energy wasn’t spent getting his work on the wall. It was bundled to get other people’s attention, ”she said.

Childs said it was also appropriate since the Phillips Collection was one of the few museums Driskell opened as a student at Howard University in the 1950s, when DC was still segregated.

“David Driskell: Icons of Nature and History” will be on display at the Phillips Collection at 1600 21st St. NW through January 9, when in the Cincinnati Art Museum.

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