Michael D. Harris is one of a very few people working as an artist, an art historian, and a curator on a national and international level.
As an artist, Harris is known internationally as a member of the noted artist collective AfriCOBRA which was featured in a documentary film shown on TVLand (formerly Nick at Nite) in February 2011. He has exhibited all across the United States, Europe, and in Martinique and Haiti in the Caribbean. His work is in public and private collections around the nation.
He is among the few African American scholars to hold terminal degrees in studio art (M.F.A. in Painting, Howard University 1979), African American Studies (M.A. in African American Studies, Yale University, 1989), and in art history (Ph.D. in Art History, Yale University, 1996). An Associate Professor of Art History at Emory University, he taught for eleven years at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, earlier at Morehouse College, and was a visiting professor at Dillard University in New Orleans for a semester. Additionally, he has taught as an adjunct at Wellesley College, Duke University, and Spelman College.
Prof. Harris’ important book, Colored Pictures: Race and Visual Representation (2003), one of the first books dealing with critical issues in African American art rather than a monograph or survey, and it won the Outstanding Contribution to Publishing Citation from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association in 2004 and the book still is being used in major universities across the nation from Columbia, to Michigan, to Stanford. He was a co-author of the first major textbook for African Art, A History of Art in Africa (2000, 2007), and has had over thirty-four articles published in various journals, magazines, books, and exhibition catalogs including journals in London and Canada.
Presently Prof. Harris is working on a new book length manuscript, and is the editor of an anthology on African American art. He has given numerous lectures and presentations around the nation for the past 30 years, including the Inaugural Endowed Lecture in Honor of Robert P. Madison and In Memory of Leatrice B. Madison at the Cleveland Museum of Art (2015), and the keynote address at the inaugural conference of the Association of American Art Historians at St. Francis College in New York, and as a panelist at the National Gallery of Art for their series on collecting African American art. You can view more of his work at michaeldharris.com