Catletts attraction to Mexicanprintmaking reflects a socialand political concern sheshares with the great muralists.Like them she uses her art toadvance causes of particularinterest to her, including theAfrican-American experienceand the plight of the lowerclasses. Many of her printsshow the multidimensionalaspects of women as mothers,workers, and activists. Mother and Child 1944 Elizabeth Catlett Lithograph Sheet: 12 3/8 x 9 3/8 in. image: 7 3/4 x 5 3/4 in. ( Gift of Reba and Dave Williams, 1999
Sharecropper linocut450 x 431 mm (block); 544 x 513 mm (sheet) Restricted gift of Mr. and Mrs. Robert S. Hartman, Sharecropper evokes Catletts belief in the strength and dignity of the working poor, while it also offers a heroic portrait of this anonymous woman.
Elizabeth Catlett has said that the purpose of her artis to "present black people in their beauty anddignity for ourselves and others to understand andenjoy." As a sculptor and printmaker, she blendsfigurative and abstract traditions with socialconcerns, and has maintained a deep belief in thedemocratic power of printed art to reach a largeaudience. She has completed some eighty prints inwoodcut, screenprint, lithography, and, mostimportantly, linoleum cut, a technique she learned atEl Taller de Gráfica Popular (Peoples GraphicWorkshop).
She also depicts great women from African-American history, including Harriet Tubman, who is shown here leading slaves to freedom as a "conductor" on the Underground Railroad.Harriet1975. Linoleum cut, composition: 12 7/16 x 101/8" (31.6 x 25.7 cm); sheet: 18 5/16 x 15 1/16"
Newspaper Vendor(Study for the lithograph,"Vendedora De Periodicos"),1955pencil on paperArkansas Arts CenterFoundation Purchase
...and a special fear for my loved ones 1946 Woodcut 6 3/4 x 9 1/4 in.
Man 1975 (printed 2003)woodcut and color linocut 25 15/16” x 17 13/16”
In Sojourner Truth I fought for the rights of women as well as Negros 1947 Linoleum print 8 3/4 x 6 in. Collection of DePaul University, Art Endowment Fund
Portrait of a Woman (Cabeza de Negra), c. 1948Print, Lithograph on cream wove paper Image: 22 1/4 x 17 1/8 in. Sheet: 27 3/8 x 18 1/2 in) Harvard Art Museums/FoggMuseum, Margaret Fisher Fund,
"I Have Special Homes" (The Negro Woman Series), 1946 Woodcut on wove paper, 5 1/16" x 4"
"In Harriett Tubman, I Helped Hundreds toFreedom" (The Negro Woman Series),1946, Woodcut on wove paper, 5 1/16" x 4"