David driskellreceived a bachelor of arts degree from Howard University in 1955. He received a master's degree in fine arts from Catholic University of America in 1962, before continuing his further studies in postgraduate studies in art history. Having been educated as an artist, he works mainly in collage, mixed media and printing.
He began his teaching career at Talladega College in 1955, and then taught at the Universities of Howard and Fisk before joining the Department of the Arts at University of Maryland College Park in 1977. He was its chairman from 1978 to 1983. In 1995, he was named professor emeritus of the university and taught until his retirement in 1998, when he was called professor emeritus. In 2001, the University founded the David S. Driskell Center to honor his many accomplishments and his important role in preserving the rich heritage of African American fine art and culture.
During teaching, he also led an active career as an exhibitor, curator, collector, art administrator and art consultant. His works are included in museum collections around the world.