Friday, February 19, 2010

Cut It Out! Recognizing Influential Black Women During Black History Month

Elizabeth Catlett
(April 15, 1915 - )

Elizabeth Catlett is an African American sculptor and painter who expressed the struggles of her people using her amazing talent. Her art pieces helped to bring a social consciousness to the world of art.

"She was born in Washington D.C. She passed a competitive exam for entry to the Carnegie Institute of Technology in 1932, but was refused into its school of art due to her race. She therefore entered Howard University and studied for one year under Lois Mailou Jones to become a textile designer. She changed her major to painting when she discovered what concepts and messages could be conveyed in this form of art. The concepts which were conveyed in the Mexican Muralists were the turning point in her dedication to Socialist expressive art. Upon graduation with honors from Howard University in 1937, Elizabeth Catlett went on to the State University of Iowa. At IOWA, she studied under Grant Wood (artist of American Gothic and Daughters of Revolution). Wood encouraged her "to paint what we knew most intimately." Catlett was the first student to receive a M.F.A. degree from the State University of Iowa in 1940. Her master's thesis, MOTHER AND CHILD, won the AMERICAN NEGRO EXHIBITION in Chicago in 1940. (more)

Source, Source

Art pieces by Elizabeth Catlett:

Mother and Child


New Generation

Two Generations

Three Women of America
Are you a Cut It Out! Girl?!

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