Sculptor Elizabeth Catlett Dies at 96

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Getty Images

Celebrated African-American sculptor and printmaker Elizabeth Catlett has died at the age of 96, according to the Associated Press. The artist's daughter confirmed that she died Monday at her home in Cuernavaca, Mexico, where she lived and worked. Just last year Catlett, who was born in Washington, D.C., was honored with an exhibit at the Bronx Museum — and even sat down for a chat with The Root's editor-in-chief, Henry Louis Gates Jr.


From the Associated Press:

Catlett moved to Mexico in 1946, became friends with great Mexican muralist Diego Rivera and others in his circle, and married Mexican artist Francisco Mora.


She became known for her commitment to winning greater rights for blacks, women and workers in the United States and her adopted country. Catlett witnessed almost every important artistic and social movement of the 20th century and traveled in some of the same illustrious circles as the great American artist Jacob Lawrence and poet Langston Hughes.

She was arrested during a railroad workers' protest in Mexico City in 1958 and in 1962 the U.S. State Department banned her from returning to the United States for nearly a decade.

Working in wood, stone and other natural materials, she produced simple, flowing sculptures of women, children and laborers, and prints of Mexicans and black Americans that she used to promote social justice.

Read more at the Associated Press.

Lauren is a former Deputy Editor of The Root.

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