Adrienne L. Childs is an independent scholar, art historian and curator. She is adjunct curator at The Phillips Collection. She is an associate of the W.E.B. Du Bois Research Institute at the Hutchins Center at Harvard University. Her current book is an exploration of blacks in European decorative arts entitled Ornamental Blackness: The Black Figure in European Decorative Arts, under contract with Yale University Press. She was the guest curator of Riffs and Relations: African American Artists and the European Modernist Tradition at The Phillips Collection in Washington DC, 2020. Childs was recently co-editor of Riff: African American Artists and the European Canon, a special section of Panorama: Journal of the Association of Historians of American Art.
In April 2022 The High Museum of Art awarded Childs the 2022 Driskell Prize in recognition of her contribution to African American art and art history.
Childs co-curated The Black Figure in the European Imaginary at The Cornell Fine Arts Museum at Rollins College in 2017. She is co-editor of the volume essays Blacks and Blackness in European Art of the Long Nineteenth Century, Routledge. She also contributed an essay on art and activism to Volume V.2 of The Image of the Black in Western Art edited by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and David Bindman.
As former curator at the David C. Driskell Center at the University of Maryland she curated many exhibitions including Her Story: Lithographs by Margo Humphrey; Arabesque: The Art of Stephanie Pogue; Creative Spirit: The Art of David C. Driskell and Tradition Redefined: The Larry and Brenda Thompson Collection of African American Art.
Childs holds a BA from Georgetown University, an MBA from Howard University and a PhD in the History of Art from the University of Maryland.