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Catalog Data

Created by:
Elizabeth Catlett, Mexican and American, 1915 - 2012  Search this
Subject of:
Harriet Tubman, American, 1822 - 1913  Search this
ink and graphite on paper
H x W (image with title): 9 3/4 × 7 1/16 in. (24.8 × 18 cm)
H x W (image): 9 1/16 × 7 1/16 in. (23 × 18 cm)
H x W (sheet): 15 1/8 × 11 1/4 in. (38.4 × 28.6 cm)
1946-1947; printed 1989
I wanted to show the history and strength of all kinds of Black women. Working women, country women, great women in the history of the United States. — Elizabeth Catlett
Elizabeth Catlett was a versatile sculptor and printmaker committed to making art that promoted women, family, community, and equality. In 1946, she received a Julius Rosenwald Foundation Grant to travel and study in Mexico City. There, she worked with the Taller de Gráphica Popular (People’s Graphic Arts Workshop), a printmaking collective primarily dedicated to the production of sociopolitical art. During her stay, she completed The Negro Woman. This narrative series of prints embodies a first-person perspective of Black women, imparting a sense of intimacy and resilience as the viewer navigates a variety of images relating to resilience, heroism, and the ongoing struggle for racial justice.
This black and white linocut depicts Harriet Tubman directing a group of individuals. She stands with her back to the viewer, looking over her right shoulder and down her right arm, which she points in a straight line to her right. She wears a light colored long dress with a striped hem and dark shoes. Her sleeves are rolled up past the elbows. She has a loose cap on her head and a satchel slung over her left shoulder. In the background is a group of individuals consisting of several men and a woman carrying a baby. The woman wears a long loose skirt and loose shirt. She has a loose cap or cloth on her head and carries a baby against her left shoulder. Next to the woman is a man in a loose shirt and pants. He carries a bulging sack over his right shoulder. Both the woman and the man are barefoot. Behind them are four men, two of them wearing hats. They are shown walking towards the right hand margin, in the direction of Harriet Tubman's pointing finger. There is a handwritten title below the image in pencil. It is signed by the artist on the bottom right. The back is blank.
African American  Search this
Art  Search this
Identity  Search this
Resistance  Search this
Slavery  Search this
Women  Search this
Credit Line:
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of Winifred Hervey
Object number:
Restrictions & Rights:
© 2020 Catlett Mora Family Trust/Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY
Permission required for use. Proper usage is the responsibility of the user.
See more items in:
National Museum of African American History and Culture Collection
The Black Woman (formerly the Negro Woman)
Visual Arts
Data Source:
National Museum of African American History and Culture