David C. Driskell, Storyteller

David C. Driskell

DAVID C. DRISKELL, Artist and Art Historian

It was 1964 and, as a young professor at Howard University in the Department of Art, I had a grant to travel to Europe. It was my first visit to Europe; I started out in Greece. And I wanted to recount some of my classical education, specifically Greek theater, so I went to the amphitheater at the base of the Acropolis to see a performance of The Birds by Aristophanes.

…the arts are universal. 
They move beyond barriers…

I couldn’t speak Greek, didn’t really understand the language, so
I was surprised that I understood the emotions, the passion of the actors. I found myself laughing when everybody else was laughing, responding in the same way they did to the drama and the humor.

It gave me a sense of knowing that the arts are universal. 
They move beyond barriers of language, of ethnicity, of anything else that seems to divide us.