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Dr. Frank C. Martin II
Dr. Frank Martin II

Visual & Performing Arts Visiting Associate Professor in the History & Theory of Art220 Fine Arts Building 803-536-8388

Frank Martin

Dr. Frank C. Martin II provides instruction on the understanding, appreciation, history and critique of the fine Arts as manifestations of cultural expression.


  • B.A., Art History & Theory, Yale University 1976
  • M.A., Art History, City University of New York, Hunter College, 1990
  • Ph.D., Philosophy (History of Aesthetics), The University of South Carolina, 2018


Martin is a graduate of Yale University and the City University of New York, Hunter College, with additional study in contemporary art at the Institute of Fine Arts of New York University, and the Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of South Carolina, Columbia, S.C.  After working for more than 12 years as an Associate Manager of Education Services for the Department of Education Services in the Uris Center of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Martin transitioned to a position as Curator of Exhibitions and Collections, at South Carolina State University's I. P. Stanback Museum & Planetarium, where Martin served as Director through June of 2022. 

Trained as an art historian, art theorist, philosopher, and critic of cultural interpretation, Dr. Martin has served as an academic advisor for the PBS documentary, Shared History and as contributing critic in the fine arts for The Charleston Post and Courier, one of the South’s oldest newspapers.  Appointed as a Carolina Diversity Professors Doctoral Scholar in 2009 (now The Grace Jordan McFadden Doctoral Scholars Program) in the Department of Philosophy at the University of South Carolina, Martin’s area of specialization is the study of axiology, concentrating in the field of aesthetics.

Martin is a member of AICA, the International Association of Art Critics (Association Internationale des Critiques d’Art ) based in Paris. His published projects include articles for encyclopedic African American Biography, organized by Harvard University and the Oxford University Press, writing on artists of the African diaspora. In 2014, Martin was designated Professor of the Year, for the School of Education, Humanities, and Social Sciences at South Carolina State University and received the distinguished Community Service Award from the international service organization, The Links Inc. in 2019.

Research Interests

Art, art theory, Renaissance art, Modern and Contemporary Art, Art Criticism, Art and Perception, Art as Language, Conversational Implicature, Art and Social History.


Honors Art Appreciation, History of Art Survey I (Prehistoric Art to Early Medieval Art); History of Art Survey II (Medieval Art to Early Modern Art); Modern & Contemporary Art (1850 - the Present); African American Art History


"LINKED: Colin Quashie interviewed by Frank Martin,” in Illuminations, edited by Simon Lewis, Rathasker Press, 2020 (works by artist Colin Quashie remain on display in The I. P. Stanback Museum’s Main Gallery)  Resistance, Reform, & Reasoning: Artists Respond to The Orangeburg Massacre ~ 50 Years Later (exhibition catalogue by South Carolina Humanities, South Carolina State University) 2018 by F. Martin   The Orangeburg Massacre & America’s Fight for Freedom: An Exhibition of Documentary Photographs by Cecil Williams and Jerry Fryar (February 7th - April 15th, 2018, exhibition catalogue by South Carolina Humanities, South Carolina State University) 2018 by F. Martin   Essay, “ Sign, Trace, & Significance: Giordano Angeletti’s Improbable Worlds”/ “ Segno, traccia, e significato: I mondi improbili di Giordano Angeletti ”, in Paesaggi Immaginari: Photographic Images by Giordano Angeletti (Associazione Culturale TRAleVOLTE, Rome, Italy 2019, Orangeburg 2021 – 2022), essay by F. Martin.  Co-author: “ Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis (INAA) of Nok Sculptures in The I. P. Stanback Museum,” Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry, published online, May, 2017: Museum collaboration with Dr. Sun Zai-jing, SCSU faculty member in Nuclear Engineering,  for his presentation of  molecular analysis of two Nok sculptural artifacts from the Simone & Linda Grigori Collection of the I. P. Stanback Museum  presented to  the CAARI ( for The 24th Conference on Application of Accelerators in Research & Industry, also with Q. S. Cai, S. Lassell: listed as: Z.J. Sun, F. Martin, Q.S. Cai and S. Lassell, "Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis (INAA) of Nok Sculptures in I. P. Stanback Museum." Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry, 313: 85-92, 2017, doi:10.1007/s10967-017-5297-8.)   Author: Chapter 8 (with Dr. Tolulope Filani) in text for teachers of English language students, Teaching ELLs Across Content Areas; edited by Dr. Nan Li, 2016; the chapter is entitled, “ Teaching Arts to English Language Learners ,“ pp. 187-208.    “Art & Inference: Juan Logan’s Visual Expressions as Conversational Implicatures,” in the Monograph of the Carolina Diversity Professors Doctoral Scholar’ Program, The University of South Carolina 2016-2017.  Author of exhibition catalogue essay for, Hampton III Gallery, Taylor, SC, Images by Paul Yanko: Art as Meta-Cognition, Fall 2016 (for Sandy Rupp).  “Assessing the Roles of Intention, Action, and Agency: A Consideration of Choices That Lead to Unintended Harms,” in the Monograph of the African-American Professors’ Program,  edited by John McFadden, Ph.D., The University of South Carolina 2014.