The University of Iowa

Elizabeth Catlett Residence Hall

Elizabeth Catlett

Honoree: Elizabeth Catlett
1915 - 2012
(Photo courtesy of Iowa Women's Archives, Shirley Briggs Papers) 


  • In 1940, Elizabeth Catlett became one of the first three MFA graduates from the University of Iowa and was the first African American woman to receive the degree
  • The grandchild of freed slaves and the daughter of a truant officer and a university instructor, Catlett frequently depicted women, mothers with children, and working class African Americans, as well as icons such as Malcolm X, Angela Davis, and Sojourner Truth
  • Catlett received the UI Distinguished Alumna Award for Achievement in 1996 and was named a UI Alumni Fellow in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences in 2006
  • The UI acquired Catlett’s iconic Sharecropper print in 2002, and in 2006, purchased an additional 28 prints for the UI’s permanent collection, some of which are on display in the Iowa Memorial Union
  • Catlett donated proceeds of the 2006 UI Museum of Art purchase back to the UI to establish the Elizabeth Catlett Scholarship Fund, which each year supports an African American or Latino undergraduate or graduate student in printmaking
  • Catlett’s artwork has grown in popularity and is included in collections around the world, such as at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City; the National Museum in Prague; the Smithsonian National Museum of American Art in Washington, D.C.; and the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City

Elizabeth Catlett Residence Hall


Description of facility:

Elizabeth Catlett Hall is located on the site of the old Iowa City Water Plant located on Madison Street. Catlett is 12 stories tall, houses 1,049 students and opened in the fall of 2017. The building includes a new market place, study rooms, lobby/lounge, and laundry. There are three “houses” per floor and each house will have its own floor lounge that overlooks the Iowa River.

Address: 350 North Madison Street
Year built: 2017
Additional building information: Catlett Residence Hall

Aerial View of Building