Derrick Cartwright, PhD

Derrick Cartwright
Phone: (619) 260-7632
Fax: 619-260-6875
Office: Founders Hall 100A

Associate Professor and Director of University Galleries

  • Ph.D. University of Michigan, Art History
  • M.A., UCLA, Art History
  • A.B., UC Berkeley, Art History

Derrick Cartwright began his academic career as an Assistant Professor at USD from 1993-1998. Next, he enjoyed a fifteen-year detour as a museum director in Giverny (France), Hanover, New Hampshire, San Diego, and Seattle, Washington, before returning to the University of San Diego in the fall of 2012. In addition to his teaching role in the department, he is the Director of University Galleries on campus and serves as the Director of Curatorial Affairs for the Timken Museum of Art, in Balboa Park. Cartwright is currently a member of the Public Art Committee for the City of San Diego and is also a member of the Advisory Board for Murals of La Jolla (a local non-profit).

Areas of Expertise

North American Art and Architecture, Museum/curatorial practice, Transatlantic Cultural Exchange, History of Photography, History of Public Art

Scholarly Work

Recent scholarly publications include:

“Acquired Tastes: Experiments in Campus-based Museums,” OAR: Oxford Artistic and Practice Based Research Platform 3 (Oct. 2017): 10-17.

“Church or Factory: Radical Inclusivity and Vanguard Practice in 1960s New York,” World Futures 73 (2017): 23-34.

Monet’s Étretat: Destination and Motif (San Diego: Timken Museum of Art, 2017).

“An Interview with Wayne Thiebaud,” in Wayne Thiebaud, By Hand: Works on Paper, 1965-2015 (San Diego: University Galleries, 2016): 11-17.

“’Modern American Painting’: Robert Henri’s Exhibition for the Panama California Exposition,” in H. Katz, ed., Masterworks of the Exposition Era (San Diego: San Diego History Center, 2015): 6-9.

“Robert Henri’s California Faces,” in Robert Henri’s California: Realism, Race, and Region (Laguna: Laguna Art Museum, 2014): 13-39.

“Robert Henri’s San Diego,” in Amy Galpin, ed., Behold, America!: Art of the United States from Three San Diego Museums (San Diego: The San Diego Museum of Art, 2012): 224-43.

“Ginny Ruffner’s Seattle Garden,” Sculpture 31 (July/Aug. 2012): 52-55.

Ceci n’est pas un musée: Distance and Resistance in Franco-American Cultural Exchange,” in B. Groseclose and J. Wierich, eds. Internationalizing the History of American Art: Views (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2009): 119-40.

Conferences and Presentations

“Private Preference and Public Good: Putting the Putnam’s Philanthropy in Context,” San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego, CA (October 2016).

“Ashcan Images and Anarchist Ideals: Robert Henri’s Radical Texts,” (keynote) Wordstruck: Conference on American Artists as Readers, Writers, and Literati, Maire Curie-Sklowdowska University, Lublin, Poland (May 2015). 

“Robert Henri’s California Visits,” Journeys West Symposium, Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO (January 2014).

“Sea Change: Jackson Pollock in 1947,” Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, WA (June 2011).

Areas of Interest

Cartwright teaches a variety of theoretical and practical courses, especially about North, Central and South American Art. He also enjoys demystifying “The Art World” for undergraduates, and teaches several courses dedicated to museums, the history of collecting, and problems of curatorship.  He also participates regularly in the Honors program at USD, co-teaching courses with Professors in the History, Theology & Religious Studies, and English departments.