Robert Steele spent 40 years on the faculty of the psychology department at the University of Maryland, College Park. He then served nearly a decade as the director of the university’s David C. Driskell Center, which supports the promotion and study of African-American art and the art of the African diaspora.
Since 2004, Dr. Steele and his wife have contributed 100 pieces of African American art to the Yale University Art Gallery. The latest donations, that arrived late last year include a lithograph by Romare Bearden and screenprints by Jacob Lawrence and Gwendolyn Knight Lawrence.
“It is my conviction that one cannot fully understand the nature of American art unless one understands the contribution of African-American artists,” said Dr. Steele, who has served as a member of the art gallery’s governing board since 2004.
Dr. Steele is a native of Alabama. He is a graduate of Morehouse College in Atlanta and earned a master of public health degree, a master’s degree, and a Ph.D. at Yale University.