The University of Iowa

Elizabeth Catlett

Birth Year
Death Year
Despite segregation and lack of female role models University of Iowa graduate Elizabeth Catlett pursued a lifelong career in art. She created realistic and highly stylized works that embrace the themes of social injustice the human condition historical figures women and the relationship between mother and child. She was fascinated with African masks often incorporating their abstracted features into her work.

During her lifetime Catlett received numerous awards including The Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Iowa in 1996 and the NAACP Image Award in 2009. Her works are included in major collections including the Museum of Modern Art the Metropolitan Museum of Art the Palacio de Bellas Artes Mexico and the University of Iowa Museum of Art.

Artwork by Elizabeth Catlett