As of 2019, Richard J. Powell was the John Spencer Bassett Professor of Art & Art History at Duke University, a position held since 1989. He studied at Morehouse College and Howard University, earning a doctorate degree in art history from Yale University in 1988. His academic areas of interest include American art, the arts of the African Diaspora, contemporary visual studies, and has written on topics from primitivism to postmodernism.

We have one object that Richard J. Powell has been involved with.

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/people/2318796747/ |title=Richard J. Powell |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=28 July 2021 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>