- College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Alumni Award (2020)
Roslyn Adele Walker is the senior curator of the arts of Africa, the Americas, and the Pacific and The Margaret McDermott Curator of African Art at the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA), a position she has held since December 2003. In November 2009, the museum published her book The Arts of Africa at the Dallas Museum of Art, the first catalogue devoted solely to the museum’s now 50-year-old collection of African art.
She has curated many exhibitions including: Wearable Raffia from Africa (2019), The Power of Gold: Asante Royal Regalia from Ghana (2018), African Headwear: Beyond Fashion (2011) African Masks: The Art of Disguise (2010), and Variations on a Theme: Three Olumeye by Olowe of Ise (2005). She is also the co-curator of Not Visible to the Naked Eye: Inside a Senufo Helmet Mask (2019) and the liaison curator for two traveling exhibitions, The Art of Romare Bearden and Something All Our Own: The Grant Hill Collection of African American Art (2004).
Before joining the DMA, Walker was at the National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution in curatorial positions from 1981, and director from 1997 until 2002. Prior she has held director and curatorial positions at Illinois State University and University of Ibadan. Walker has also held positions with the Federal Department of Antiquities, Nigerian National Museum and University of Massachusetts Amherst University Art Gallery. In addition to museum work, she has taught at University of Massachusetts, Indiana University, Illinois State University, and University of Maryland.
Before earning her graduate degrees from the Indiana University College of Arts and Sciences, Walker graduated with high honors from Hampton Institute (now Hampton University) in Virginia, where she specialized in art education. She has been honored as the “Twenty Year Student” by Hampton University and has been inducted into the National Black College Alumni Hall of Fame. In 2002, Walker was presented a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Association of African American Museums.
In 1999, she served as a U.S. Information Agency/Department of State American Cultural Specialist in Nigeria, where she conducted workshops on museum administration. Walker is a member of the Arts Council of the African Studies Association and has also served on its board. In addition, she’s served on the Visual Arts and Crafts Advisory Panel of the Washington, D.C., Commission on the Arts and as a trustee of the Association of Art Museum Directors. Walker has served on the Public Art Committee for the Dallas Office of Arts and Culture.