Created by
Catlett, Elizabeth, Mexican and American, 1915 - 2012
1946; printed 1989
ink and graphite on paper
H x W (image with title): 4 1/2 × 6 1/8 in. (11.4 × 15.6 cm)
H x W (image): 4 3/16 × 6 1/8 in. (10.7 × 15.5 cm)
H x W (sheet): 7 5/8 × 10 3/16 in. (19.4 × 25.9 cm)
I wanted to show the history and strength of all kinds of Black women. Working women, country women, great women in the history of the United States. — Elizabeth Catlett
Elizabeth Catlett was a versatile sculptor and printmaker committed to making art that promoted women, family, community, and equality. In 1946, she received a Julius Rosenwald Foundation Grant to travel and study in Mexico City. There, she worked with the Taller de Gráphica Popular (People’s Graphic Arts Workshop), a printmaking collective primarily dedicated to the production of sociopolitical art. During her stay, she completed The Negro Woman. This narrative series of prints embodies a first-person perspective of Black women, imparting a sense of intimacy and resilience as the viewer navigates a variety of images relating to resilience, heroism, and the ongoing struggle for racial justice.
Black and white linocut of two women in front of urban housing. Two women are shown with multi-story housing in the background. The apartment buildings are in three different styles with the one on the left having exterior staircases and walkways. The largest building, on the right, has similar exterior walkways on each level. The woman on the left has a hat and is looking toward the viewer. The woman on the right faces the other woman. The title is handwritten in graphite below the image and the work is signed. The reverse is blank.
The Black Woman (formerly the Negro Woman)
Visual Arts
Urban life
Credit Line
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of Winifred Hervey
Object number
Restrictions & Rights
© 2020 Catlett Mora Family Trust/Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY
Permission required for use. Proper usage is the responsibility of the user.

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