John Spencer Bassett Professor of Art and Art History at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina.
Richard J. Powell has written on topics ranging from primitivism to postmodernism, including such titles as Homecoming: The Art and Life of William H. Johnson (1991) and Black Art: A Cultural History (2002). His latest book is Cutting a Figure: Fashioning Black Portraiture (2008). Powell has also helped organize numerous exhibitions, most notably: Rhapsodies in Black: Art of the Harlem Renaissance (1997); To Conserve A Legacy: American Art at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (1999); and Back to Black: Art, Cinema, and the Racial Imaginary (2005). From 2007 until 2010, Powell was Editor-in-Chief of The Art Bulletin.