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Derrick R. Cartwright, PhD

Director of University Galleries
Professor of Practice, Art History

Derrick Cartwright has taught a variety of art history courses at USD, most of them between 1992 and 1998, when he was an Assistant Professor in the department. He has also led major art institutions in Giverny, France, in Hanover, New Hampshire, San Diego, and Seattle before returning to USD in the fall of 2012 to fill a newly created position as Director of University Galleries and Professor of Practice. He is eager to engage students in the practical dimensions of working with art objects and collections as well as in the theoretical stakes of art historical research.


PhD, University of Michigan, Art History
MA, University of California Los Angeles, Design and Art History  
AB, University of California Berkeley, Art History

Scholarly and Creative Work

Cartwright has published dozens of scholarly articles and catalogue essays about American painting, sculpture, photography, Franco-American Cultural Exchange, and contemporary issues in American art museums. He is currently working on a book about decisive change in the careers of 20th-century American artists, especially as this relates to the work of Marsden Hartley, Jacob Lawrence, Jackson Pollock, and Eva Hesse.

Teaching Interests

Equipping undergraduates with a rigorous historical background and a variety of tools for thinking critically about visual culture are top priorities of Cartwright’s courses at USD. He is especially interested in the ways in which the history of art in the United States is/has been taught. Additional teaching interests include the history of photography, popular print culture, public art controversies, curatorial practice, museum ethics, and biographical studies of artists’ lives.