Elizabeth Catlett, 15 Apr 1915 - 2 Apr 2012 Search this
Gelatin silver print
Image: 21.9 x 22.3 cm (8 5/8 x 8 3/4")
Sheet: 27.8 x 35.4 cm (10 15/16 x 13 15/16")
Mat: 55.9 x 40.6 cm (22 x 16")
c. 1949 (printed c. 1990)
Described by poet Maya Angelou as the "queen of the arts," Elizabeth Catlett has created, over the course of the last seventy years, paintings, prints, and sculptures that touch upon many important social and political issues. Refused admission to an all-white art school, Catlett studied at Howard University and then with painter Grant Wood at the University of Iowa. Her work for the Public Works Art Project during the 1930s introduced her to Diego Rivera and other socially conscious mural painters. This group influenced the direction of her art; it also introduced her to artistic traditions in Mexico, where she permanently relocated in 1946. She has completed numerous commissions in the United States and Mexico, and to this day she remains committed to the idea that "art is important only to the extent that it helps in the liberation of our people."