Elizabeth Catlett: Artist as Activist
Jacqueline Copeland, executive director, Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture
This lecture coincides with the museum’s exhibition of the same name which opens Saturday, October 26, 2019. Elizabeth Catlett is regarded as one of the premier African American artists of the 20th century. The lecture will provide an overview of the exhibition and showcase her work which revolved around themes of social injustice, the human condition, historical figures, women, and the relationship between mother and child. According to Catlett, the main purpose of her work was to convey social messages rather than pure aesthetics. Many of the works display the Mexican influence since, after having traveled to Mexico early in the 1940s, she settled there, married a Mexican artist, Francisco Mora, raised a family, and taught at the local university. She became a Mexican citizen in 1962. Born and raised in Washington, DC, her subjects in prints and sculptures range from sensitive maternal images, to confrontational symbols of Black Power, to portraits of working class sharecroppers, to portraits of Frederick Douglass. During her lifetime, Catlett received many awards and recognitions, including membership in the Salón de la Plástica Mexicana, the Art Institute of Chicago Legends and Legacy Award, honorary doctorates from Pace University and Carnegie Mellon, and the International Sculpture Center's Lifetime Achievement Award in contemporary sculpture.
$15 door fee for guests and subscribers