Elizabeth Catlett was an African-American artist who explored themes relating to race and feminism in her range of sculpture, paintings, and prints. Like her peer Norman Lewis, Catlett highlighted the struggle of black people with her art. Responding to segregation and the fight for civil rights, Catlett’s depictions of sharecroppers and activists showed the influence of Primitivism and Cubism. “I have always wanted my art to service my people—to reflect us, to relate to us, to stimulate us, to make us aware of our potential,” she once stated. Born Alice Elizabeth Catlett on April 15, 1915 in Washington, D.C., she was awarded a scholarship to attend the Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh—only to have the offer rescinded on the basis of her race. She then enrolled at Howard University and went on to study under Grant Wood at the University of Iowa, becoming the first African-American woman to graduate with an MFA from the school. In the 1940s, she traveled to Mexico on a fellowship and began to paint murals influenced by the work of Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo. The Mexican muralist’s spirit of activism inspired Catlett to produce images of hardship by African-American women in the South, as depicted in Sharecropper (1952)—one of her most famous works. While she was in Mexico, she created a series of linocut prints featuring prominent black figures to promote literacy in the country. From 1975 until her death, she lived and worked between Cuernavaca, Mexico and New York, NY. Catlett died on April 2, 2012 in Cuernavaca, Mexico at the age of 96. Today, the artist’s works are held in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, and the Art Institute of Chicago, among others.