V

Narratives of African American Art and Identity

Elizabeth Catlett

Seated Mother and Child, 1982

Bronze

15.5" x 7" x 7"


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Seated Mother and Child

© Elizabeth Catlett
Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY


As an artist, activist, feminist, and mother, Elizabeth Catlett has put form to the universality of motherhood for nearly sixty years. Catlett won the first prize in sculpture at the American Negro Exposition in Chicago in 1940 with a limestone Mother and Child, the same piece that had been her master's thesis from the University of Iowa. Throughout her career Catlett has repeatedly explored the role of woman as mother, both in print and sculpture. Although the image of mother and child recalls the Christian tradition of the Virgin Mother and the infant Jesus, the simplified forms and subtle gestures found in Catlett's Seated Mother and Child speak to the essential nature of motherhood, a fundamental aspect of the human condition that transcends religion, race, class, and nationality.  A. L. C.

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