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Richard J. Powell, John Spencer Bassett Professor of Art and Art History, and Professor of African and African American Studies

Richard J. PowellSpecialization:

    Afro-American Art
    African Art
    Art of the United States

Research Interests:

Richard J. Powell received his Ph.D. from Yale University. His research and teaching interests lie in American art, African American art, and theories of race and representation in the African diaspora. He is also interested in the media arts and conceptualizations of the "folk" in world art and culture. His books include Homecoming: The Art and Life of William H. Johnson and Black Art: A Cultural History.


  • Ph.D. Yale University 1988
  • M.Phil. Yale University 1984
  • M.A. Yale University 1982
  • M.F.A. Howard University 1977
  • B.A. Morehouse College 1975

Contact Info:

Office Location:  114 Buchanan Blvd, Smith Warehouse, Bay 9, A287C, Durham, NC 27708
Office Phone:   (919) 684-2473
Email Address:   richard.powell@duke.edu
Web Page:   http://www.richardjpowell.com

Representative Publications   (More Publications)

  1. Powell, RJ. "Linguists, Poets, and ‘Others’ on African American Art." American Art  vol. 17 (Spring, 2003): 16-19.
  2. Powell, RJ. Black Art: A Cultural History. London: Thames and Hudson, Ltd., (2002). (Revised & expanded edition of Black Art & Culture in the 20th Century, 1997; Spanish translation: Arte y Cultura Negros en el Siglo XX, Barcelona: Ediciones Destino, S.A., 1998)
  3. Powell, RJ. "Appreciation. Jacob Lawrence: Keep on Movin’." American Art  vol. 15 no. 1 (Spring, 2001): 90-93. [3109375], [doi]
  4. Powell, RJ. "To Be Real." The Barkley L. Hendricks Experience  (2001): 13-15.
  5. Powell, RJ. "Sartor Africanus." Dandies: Fashion and Finesse in Art and Culture. Edited by Fillin-Yeh, S.  (2001): 217-242.