Elizabeth Driscoll Smith

Elizabeth Driscoll Smith
Graduate Student


Areas of Concentration: Modern and Contemporary American Art, art of the American South, and the relationship between race and modernism; the history of folk, self-taught, and “outlier” art; twentieth-century exhibition history; curatorial practice
Faculty Advisor: Jenni Sorkin
M.A. Thesis: "Claude Cahun, Marcel Moore, and the Collapse of 'Surrealist Photography'" (Hite Art Institute, University of Louisville, completed 2016)


Elizabeth Smith is a third-year Ph.D. student in the History of Art & Architecture Department at the University of California Santa Barbara, where her research treats nineteenth- and twentieth-century art of the United States, specifically the American South, with a focus on the history of folk, self-taught, and “outlier” art. In 2019, Elizabeth was awarded an eight-week fellowship at the Johnson Collection in South Carolina, where she curated the exhibition Southern Gothic: Literary Intersections with Art. Before coming to UCSB, Elizabeth held the position of Zvi Grunberg Resident Fellow at the Bruce Museum in Connecticut where she organized four exhibitions and managed the museum’s public programs. During her master’s program, Elizabeth served as the research assistant for the exhibition Southern Accent: Seeking the American South in Contemporary Art, which traveled to the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University and the Speed Art Museum in Louisville, Kentucky. She received her M.A. degree from the Hite Art Institute at the University of Louisville in 2016.