Akua McDaniel, Ph.D.
Akua McDaniel, is an associate professor of art history and former chair in the art department at Spelman College, teaching courses that focus on the African-American contribution to American culture and women’s issues in art. She is an Edwin Augustus Harleston scholar who has lectured and written extensively on the life and works of this artist with the most current work being “Edwin Augustus Harleston: Envisioning the Talented Tenth,” in Harleston: Artist and Activist in a Changing Era.
She has also written on an array of subjects dealing with African American art. Akua McDaniel is currently working on a Harleston biography which provides a unique glimpse into the challenges he experienced as a New Negro Movement artist living in the South.
For more than two decades, she has served the community in a variety of roles including visual arts coordinator and curator for the National Black Arts Festival and interim director of the Spelman College Museum of Fine Art.
Dr. McDaniel has also functioned as a panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts and participated in the selection of artworks for the new international terminal of the Hartsfield-Jackson Airport. She was appointed by then-Mayor Shirley Franklin to the Public Art Advisory Committee to assist in shaping policy concerning works of art in public places throughout the city of Atlanta.