Elizabeth catlett

The Art of Elizabeth Catlett:

From the Samella Lewis Collection

February 17, 2023 – April 15, 2023

Sara May Love Gallery

Sculptor and printmaker Elizabeth Catlett is widely considered one of the most important Black artists of the 20th century. Her work blended art and social consciousness and confronted injustices against African Americans. Catlett became one of the first three students to receive an MFA at the University of Iowa in 1940, and the first African American woman. She is best known for her sculptures and prints created during the 1960s and 70s. This collection comes from scholar Samella Lewis, who lived and worked in Tallahassee early in her career. Lewis and Catlett were lifelong friends, and Lewis went on to write African American Art History to recapture artists and work that had been marginalized by art historians of the time. Both women pioneered professional opportunities for Black female artists in the visual arts.

This collection features 30 works by Elizabeth Catlett including lithographs, mixed media, woodcuts, bronze, and wood sculptures; a few works by her husband, Francisco Mora; and works by Lewis herself. This exhibition was organized by Landau Traveling Exhibitions, Los Angeles, CA.

Field Trips

Be sure to check out our Elizabeth Catlett-themed Field Trips for all ages, ArtZone activities, and Art @ Home Kits during the exhibition, offering art-filled fun for all ages! Contact Museum Educator, Sarah Black-Sadler at (850) 627-5023 or sarah.blacksadler@gadsdenarts.org to schedule a tour.

Art Talk Live!

Thursday, April 6, 2023, 5:30 pm—6:30 pm on Zoom (FREE)

Join staff from the National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) and the Gadsden Arts Center & Museum (GACM) to explore connections between GACM’s exhibition The Art of Elizabeth Catlett: From the Collection of Samella Lewis and NMWA’s collection. This exhibition comes from the collection of Dr. Samella Lewis (1924-2022), a student of Catlett and an accomplished artist, professor, and author, and features 30 works by Elizabeth; a few works by her husband, Francisco Mora; and works by Lewis herself. The conversation will extend to artists with ties to Catlett’s past and present, such as Loïs Mailou Jones, one of Catlett’s teachers at Howard University.

The National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) is the first museum in the world solely dedicated to championing women through the arts. With its collections, exhibitions, programs, and online content, the museum inspires dynamic exchanges about art and ideas. NMWA advocates for better representation of women artists and serves as a vital center for thought leadership, community engagement, and social change. NMWA addresses the gender imbalance in the presentation of art by bringing to light important women artists of the past while promoting great women artists working today. The collections highlight paintings, sculptures, photography, and video by artists including Louise Bourgeois, Mary Cassatt, Judy Chicago, Frida Kahlo, Shirin Neshat, Faith Ringgold, Pipilotti Rist, Amy Sherald, and Élisabeth Louise Vigée-LeBrun.

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