About This Artwork

Elizabeth Catlett
American, 1915-2012

Sharecropper, 1952, printed 1970

Color linocut on cream Japanese paper
450 x 431 mm (image); 557 x 515 mm (sheet)
Signed recto, lower right: "Elizabeth Catlett"; inscribed recto, lower left: "A/P Sharecropper"

Restricted gift of Mr. and Mrs. Robert S. Hartman, 1992.182

© Elizabeth Catlett/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

Elizabeth Catlett’s Sharecropper, possibly her most famous work, was made in Mexico, where she moved in 1946 to work at the Taller de Gráfica Popular (People’s Graphic Arts Workshop). She was influenced by the spirit of activism at the workshop, which inspired her to produce images of the hardships endured by African American women, as well as the accomplishments of figures such as Sojourner Truth and Harriet Tubman. Sharecropper, like many of her other works, shows Catlett’s activism on behalf of African American women in the South, who she believed maintained their dignity in the face of great adversity.

Exhibition, Publication and Ownership Histories

Exhibition History

The Art Institute of Chicago, January 24-July 10, 1994.

The Art Institute of Chicago, "Since the Harlem Renaissance: Sixty Years of African American Art," May 18-August 25, 1996.

The Art Institute of Chicago, "In Their Own Right: Images of African Americans from The Art Institute of Chicago," September 27, 1997-January 11, 1998.

The Art Institute of Chicago, "A Century of Collecting: African American Art In The Art Institute of Chicago," February-May 2003.

The Art Institute of Chicago, "Collecting for Chicago: Prints, Drawings, and Patronage," June 14-September 14, 2008.

Publication History

Andrea D. Barnwell and Kirsten P. Buick, “A Portfolio of Works by African American Artists Continuing the Dialogue: A Work in Progress,” The Art Institute of Chicago Museum Studies 24:2 (1999), p. 185.

Martin Fox, “Portfolio,” The Art Institute of Chicago Museum Studies 24: 2 (1999), pp. 206-208, no. 18.

Ownership History

Sold by Sragow Gallery to the Art Institute, 1992




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