Elizabeth Catlett: Art for Social Justice (2015)


Elizabeth Catlett: Art for Social Justice is a 61–page catalogue dedicated to the exhibition of the same title, which celebrated and honored the late Elizabeth Catlett on the 100th anniversary of her birth. This catalogue complements the exhibition by providing biographical information about Catlett and scholarly interpretations of her work, and includes photographic reproductions for all of the works featured.

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Elizabeth Catlett (1915–2012) was an African American/Mexican sculptor and printmaker whose artwork often addressed themes of social justice. Catlett made conscious choices in her life and her art to advocate for the rights of both African American and indigenous Mexican peoples. Her interest in social justice resonates with La Salle University’s mission and concern for the dignity and respect for all human beings.

The featured exhibition, Elizabeth Catlett: Art for Social Justice, celebrates and honors the late Elizabeth Catlett on the 100th anniversary of her birth. The exhibition presents visitors with the opportunity to learn about the life and art of this extraordinary champion for social justice. Included are a total of 24 works of art: eight fine art prints from the collection of La Salle University Art Museum, and 16 artworks on loan from private collectors, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Sragow Gallery in New York, and Hampton University Museum in Virginia. Displayed together, these artworks present a contextual overview of Catlett’s progression as an artist, encompassing her work in Harlem in the early 1940s, her famous I am the Negro Woman series of 1946–1947 (renamed the I am the Black Woman series in the 1970s), her prints of indigenous Mexicans made with the Taller de Gráfica Popular (People’s Graphic Workshop, TGP) in the 1950s and 1960s, her Black Power Movement prints and sculptures of the late 1960s and beyond and her colorful prints of the 1990s and 2000s. These artworks illustrate Catlett’s concern for equal rights for African Americans as well as indigenous Mexicans; affirm Black identity, motherhood, and family; and celebrate a future of miscegenation and racial harmony. Some also address the rights of all humans to have access to basic needs such as food and literacy.

—Excerpt from “Foreword” by Klare Scarborough, Ph.D.

Klare Scarborough, Ph.D.

Bibliographic Details

Title:                                       Elizabeth Catlett: Art for Social Justice


La Salle University Art Museum, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Publication Date:              2015

Binding:                                Pictorial Softcover

Book Condition:                Excellent

Book Type:                          Exhibition Catalogue


This book has been published with support from The Philadelphia Cultural Fund, The Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and La Salle University Art Museum’s Art Angels.

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