the art dealers association of california ADAC CINOA The International Fine Print Dealers Association IFPDA



ELIZABETH CATLETT (b.1919 in Washington, DC) is first and foremost a sculptor in stone, wood and bronze. But, printmaking has been an equally important facet of her artistic expression since she was introduced to lithography in 1942 at the Art Students League in New York. From there, it was a natural transition to the wood and linoleum block with tools that were familiar from her sculptural work. Catlett chose printmaking as the best path for reaching the masses of people (especially women) in the United States and Mexico who were also African-American and Mexican natives.

From early experiences, Catlett faced racial challenges which she met squarely. She fought for equality in the classrooms, in the public theaters, in the museums. In her work is the proof.

1935	BA, Howard University
1940	MA, University of Iowa; professor Grant Wood directed her to ‘paint your own experiences’.
1941	Studied ceramics at Art Institute of Chicago
1942 	Art Students League, NY; studied lithography and printmaking
1943	Studied sculpture with Ossip Zadkine, NY
1944-46  Taught at George Washington Carver School in Harlem; created “I am a Negro Woman” series of linocuts depicting the working men and women of New York
1946	Rosenwald Fellowship made possible travel to Mexico with husband Charles White.  After a year, he returned to the United States.
1947 	Catlett divorced.  Studied with sculptor Francisco Zuniga at the Escuela de Pintura & Escultura, Esmeralda, Mexico
	         Married artist Francisco Mora; they have three children
1955	Studied woodcarving with Jose L. Ruiz
1958-1973	First woman professor of sculpture and Chairman of the department of sculpture at the National School of Fine Art, Mexico

After retirement, she has been working steadily at sculpture and printmaking. She is a vital force!



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Medium Date


Color lithograph1951
Mujer Negra

Mujer Negra