Woman Standing

Elizabeth Catlett (1917 - 2012)

Political Prisoner

Stepping Out

Cabeza (Head)

Three Women of America


Elizabeth Catlett was an award winning sculptor know for creating regal figures carved out of wood, marble, onyx, alabaster, terracotta and other materials and also for dher bronze castings.  Catlett was also a highly acclaimed master print maker recognized in the U.S. and Mexico, and one of the most famous post-Harlem Renaissance artists. she was also taught art at Dillard University in New Orleans, and was the first female professor of sculpture at The University of Mexico.

​​From the mid-1940s until her death in April 2012, American-born Elizabeth Catlett worked as a graphic artist, sculptor, print maker, and teacher. She became a citizen of Mexico in the 1940's. Together with her late husband, and fellow artist Francisco Mora she resided and raised her family of three sons in Mexico. Her sculptures in the United States and Mexico include monumental public sculpture, wall reliefs, busts, aerial and standing figures, and studio works of busts, torsos, reclining and standing figures.

Catlett received top honors and commissions in Mexico, the United States, and Europe. Elizabeth Catlett’s themes include the mother and child, suffering due to racial injustice, the bodily and facial beauty of African Americans, especially of the African-American woman, social and/or political protest, love, dignity, and an essential human vitality. Catlett was the first sculptor to represent the African-American woman in the full range of her humanity. She was depicted as simply herself, with a natural nobility and dignity, as a mother, a social or political protester, a loving wife, and in moods that reveal her as tired, penetrating, or calm in thought, speaking out angrily against injustice, or singing with joy. 

She divided her time between Cuernavaca, Mexico and New York City, working on sculptures and prints and enjoying an extended family of grandchildren, relatives, and friends until her death at the age of 96. For other available works by Elizabeth Catlett, contact E&S Gallery at 502.568.2005 Tuesday through Friday, 10 am to 6 pm (EST).