“Meaningful experiences demand expression,” was one of the signature phrases of Dr. Robert
A. Daniel, age 90, who passed away peacefully at home on September 15, 2016. A devoted
husband, loving father, distinguished professor, painter and photographer, Robert, one of
7 surviving children, was born in Ridge, Maryland on September 3, 1926 to Victor and
Constance (Hazel) Daniel, where Victor was principal of the Cardinal Gibbons Institute.
The school closed during the Great Depression and the family relocated to Washington,
DC where Robert was educated. A World War II era veteran, Robert used the benefits of the GI Bill to complete his undergraduate degree in fine arts at Howard University in 1949, and earned a Masters Degree in art education from the State University of Iowa in 1951.
Robert launched his career as an art instructor at Florida A&M University
in Tallahassee. Undaunted by the policy of segregation which prevented him from
attending Florida State, he completed his doctorate in art education from Pennsylvania
State University in 1958. After a year teaching at Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Robert joined the faculty of Bridgewater State College (now University) in Bridgewater, Massachusetts, as a professor of art and supervisor of art education at the campus laboratory school, becoming the first African American professor at that institution.
His career at Bridgewater State spanned more than 30 years, training generations of art teachers, retiring as professor emeritus in 1989. Passionate about the important role of the arts in education, he frequently published in professional journals such as School Arts and made a series of instructional videos to help classroom teachers infuse art into their daily instruction.