The College Remembers Walter Darby Bannard

Sept. 23, 1934 – Oct. 2, 2016

American abstract painter, Walter Darby Bannard, passed away October 2, 2016. Considered to be a leading figure in the progress of “Color Field Painting” in the late 1950s, Bannard made major contributions in the field of art that spanned over six decades.

Bannard was born in 1934 in New Haven, Connecticut. He earned a B.A. from Princeton University in 1956 and was a visiting professor at Princeton University, Kent State University, and The University of Texas. He also served on the graduate faculty of the School of Visual Arts in New York City, and from 1989 to 1992, chaired the Art Department at the University of Miami College of Arts and Sciences.

“Darby's contributions to the art world will be remembered by his peers, collectors, and critics, and most importantly, by the hundreds of students whom he inspired by his work, his teaching, and his mentoring,” said Dr. Perri Lee Roberts, art history professor and chair of the Department of Art and Art History at the College.

A self-taught painter, Bannard made drawings and watercolors throughout his youth. His early inspirations came from works created by William Baziotes, Theodoros Stamos, and Clyfford Still. In 1965, Bannard had his first solo exhibit in New York City. Over the course of his career, Bannard had almost 100 solo shows and was included in group shows with other artists.

He earned six national awards including a Guggenheim Fellowship, and his work is part of major collections at museums in cities around the world. Bannard also published more than 100 essays and reviews about art for publications such as ARTNews, Art Forum, Art in America, and The New York Times.

A selection of his museum collections can be found at the Lowe Art Museum at the University of Miami; the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C.; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York; the Honolulu Museum in Hawaii; the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston; and the National Gallery of Victoria in Australia, to only name a few.

October 04, 2016