Artists

Elizabeth Catlett
1915–2012


Audio

  • Vida Americana: Mexican Muralists Remake American Art, 1925–1945

    Elizabeth Catlett, ...and a special fear for my loved ones, 1949, printed 1989

    Elizabeth Catlett, ...and a special fear for my loved ones, 1949, printed 1989

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    Gwendolyn DuBois Shaw: This piece titled . . .and a special fear for my loved ones, reflects the concern that Elizabeth Catlett and so many African Americans had for, not only themselves, but their children, their relatives, anybody who was related to them, any African American family members could be very quickly swept up into racist violence in the 1930s, ‘40s, [and] ‘50s. 

    Narrator: Professor Gwendolyn DuBois Shaw. 

    Gwendolyn DuBois Shaw: The specter of lynching was a part of daily life. If we think about concerns today that African Americans have about being racially profiled, being stopped by the police, this was a very similar moment in the 1930s and ‘40s, for Black folks, but it carried an even greater sense of distress because of the frequency with which people were being lynched, were being murdered by extralegal violence in the United States.

  • Where We Are, Spanish

    Elizabeth Catlett, Prints

    Elizabeth Catlett, Prints

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    David Breslin: Elizabeth Catlett realizó esta serie de grabados llamada I Am the Negro Woman, en 1947, en su taller en la Ciudad de México.

    Narrator: David Breslin es el Curador Familia DeMartini y Director de la colección.

    David Breslin: Esta serie de obras son grabados sobre linóleo que muestran a personajes, como Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth y Phyllis Wheatley, y la idea de que su labor —ahora famosa labor de mujeres negras— debe ser celebrada, vista y convertida en un modelo a seguir. Como parte de esta serie también hay obras dedicadas a “mujeres desconocidas” y al trabajo invisible —bien fuera en el hogar, en los campos o en las fábricas—, una labor que pasaba inadvertida y que nadie consideraba heroica. La propuesta de Catlett era no sólo celebrar a figuras ejemplares como [Sojourner] Truth, sino celebrar también el trabajo diario de las desconocidas, de aquellas que realizan su trabajo sin recibir atención alguna.

  • Where We Are

    Elizabeth Catlett, Prints

    Elizabeth Catlett, Prints

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    David Breslin: Elizabeth Catlett made this body of prints, I Am the Negro Woman, in 1947 at a workshop in Mexico City. 

    Narrator: David Breslin is the DeMartini Family Curator and Director of the collection. 

    David Breslin: This group of works are linoleum woodcuts that feature some known figures like Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, and Phyllis Wheatley, and the idea that their labor—now-famous black women’s labor—should be celebrated, seen, and be made as a model. But also within this group of works are “unknown women” and the invisible labor. Whether it’s in the home, or in the field, or in the factory, that frequently wasn’t seen or wasn’t made heroic. For Catlett, the idea was not only to celebrate these exemplary figures like [Sojourner] Truth, but also to celebrate the everyday labor of ones who have not been noticed—who go unnoticed throughout their work.



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