D.B. Dowd writes, lectures, and curates exhibitions on the history of illustration and cartooning. He serves as professor of art in the Sam Fox School, where he teaches in the MFA in Illustration Visual Culture program and the undergraduate communication design major, as is also a professor in the American culture studies program in Arts & Sciences. He serves as the faculty director of the D.B. Dowd Modern Graphic History Library at WashU, renamed in his honor in 2016. The DMGHL collects materials associated with nineteenth and twentieth century illustration and comics.
Dowd’s book A is for Autocrat: A Trumpian Alphabet, Illustrated (Spartan Holiday Books, 2020) won a national gold Addy award from the American Advertising Federation in 2021.
Dowd’s book Stick Figures: Drawing as a Human Practice was published in 2018 by Spartan Holiday Books in association with the Rockwell Center for American Visual Studies. His recent essays include an assessment of Rockwell’s Four Freedoms for for Enduring Freedom, the Norman Rockwell Museum’s traveling exhibition (2018) and “Nostalgia Illustrated: N.C. Wyeth, Advertising, and American Cultural History” for the Brandywine Museum retrospective, N.C. Wyeth: New Perspectives (2019).
The third issue of Spartan Holiday, Dowd’s illustrated travel journal, appeared in 2019. Illustrations from Spartan Holiday have been juried into American Illustration and Society of Illustrators annuals.
Dowd served as project leader for the Society of Fellows at the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, from 2017-19.
He earned a BA in History from Kenyon College in 1983 and an MFA in Printmaking from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1989.
Work by D.B. Dowd
“K is for Knowledge", 2020
“X is for Xenophobe, Y is for Yahooism”, 2020
Introductory spread, Spartan Holiday No. 3: French Lesson, 2019
“Akron St. Vincent game, 2014”, 2019