Portrait Of A Woman (Cabeza De Negra)
© President and Fellows of Harvard College
Identification and Creation
Object Number
2006.76
People
Elizabeth Catlett, American (Washington, DC 1915 -)
Printed by Taller de Grafica Popular
Title
Portrait of a Woman (Cabeza de Negra)
Classification
Prints
Work Type
print
Date
c. 1948
Culture
American
Physical Descriptions
Medium
Lithograph on cream wove paper
Technique
Lithograph
Dimensions
Image: 56.5 x 43.5 cm (22 1/4 x 17 1/8 in.)
Sheet: 69.5 x 47 cm (27 3/8 x 18 1/2 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • Signed: Lower right in graphite pencil: ECatlett
  • label: verso : Elizabeth Catlett / "Cabeza" de Negra / Litografia [illegible] / Taller de Grafica Popular
  • inscription:
  • label: verso: Institut[illegible]nal de Bellas Artes - Museo Nacional de Arte Moderno / Oficina de Registro de Obras / Mexico / Autor Elizabeth Catlett 1919 / Titulo "Cabeza de Negra" / Tecnica Litografia / Medidas 56.5 x 43.5 / Pintado (Fecha) / Coleccion Del Autor.
  • inscription: verso LL in graphite (inscription revealed after paper adhesive label was removed in conservation lab): Elizabeth Catlett / Cabeza / $150.00
State, Edition, Standard Reference Number
Edition
5/20
Aquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Margaret Fisher Fund
Copyright
Art © Elizabeth Catlett/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY
Accession Year
2006
Object Number
2006.76
Division
Modern and Contemporary Art
Contact
am_moderncontemporary@harvard.edu
Descriptions
Commentary
Elizabeth Catlett made this portrait of an unknown black woman at the Taller de Gráfica Popular around 1948. As it's name suggests, the Taller was a graphic arts workshop created to serve the Mexican people. The artists who worked there saw themselves as heirs to the nineteenth-century Mexican print tradition of Jose Posada, who created countless political broadsheets. Drawn to their revolutionary politics, Catlett went to work at the Taller in 1946. Her efforts there resulted in the "Negro Women" prints, a series of linocuts that illustrate the historic oppression, resistance, and survival of African American women. Catlett emphasizes and celebrates the racial characteristics of a black woman in this lithograph as well. She highlights her round eyes, broad nose, fleshy lips, smooth dark skin, and scratches away the ink from the litho stone to create the effect of kinky hair.
Subjects and Contexts

Collection Highlights

Verification Level

3 - Good. Object is well described and information is vetted