MOMA Curator Darby English to Present a Lecture April 18


Darby English, professor of art history at the University of Chicago and adjunct curator of painting and sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, will present a lecture entitled “Differing, Drawn,” on the “Skin Set” drawings of contemporary African-American artist William Pope.L on April 18.

The lecture in Norman James Theatre, Smith Hall, begins at 4:30 p.m., is free and open to the public, and will be followed by a reception. “Differing, Drawn,” is sponsored by the Department of Art + Art History, together with the Starr Center, Black Studies Department, the Office of the Provost, and the William James Forum.

English, one of the most important scholars of African-American art working today,will speak on Pope.L, who is highly regarded as a performance artist, especially for his public interventionist pieces which explore racial dynamics in contemporary culture. Pope.L’s “Skin Set” drawings examine the absurdities of racialized language in American society with biting humor and barely concealed skepticism.

English is the Carl Darling Buck Professor of Art History and the College at the University of Chicago. He is the author of 1971: A Year in the Life of Color (University of Chicago Press, 2016), and How to See a Work of Art in Total Darkness (MIT Press, 2007), which has become a touchstone for discussions of African-American contemporary art. He is also the co-editor of Art History and Emergency (Yale UP, 2016) and Kara Walker: Narratives of a Negress(MIT Press, 2002 and Rizzoli, 2007). His new book, To Describe a Life: Essays at the Intersection of Art and Race Terror will be published by Yale University Press in 2018.

As a consulting curator at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, English assists in that museum’s efforts to strengthen its holdings in African-American Art. A gifted and popular lecturer, English in 2010 received the University of Chicago’s Quantrell Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, the nation’s oldest such prize.

About Washington College

Founded in 1782, Washington College is the tenth oldest college in the nation and the first chartered under the new Republic. It enrolls approximately 1,450 undergraduates from more than 35 states and a dozen nations. With an emphasis on hands-on, experiential learning in the arts and sciences, and more than 40 multidisciplinary areas of study, the College is home to nationally recognized academic centers in the environment, history, and writing. Learn more at

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