Bust-length portrait of a Black female field worker

Art %C2%A9 Elizabeth Catlett %2F Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society %28ARS%29%2C NY

Sharecropper, 1952 (printed c. 1952-57)

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A social-justice activist known for her progressive political beliefs, Elizabeth Catlett used printmaking to expose the struggles of the working class and the marginalized to a broader audience. In her celebrated linoleum cut, Sharecropper, Catlett portrays an anonymous woman enmeshed in an abusive system of labor that recruited former enslaved Africans as farmworkers in the post-Civil War South. Sharecroppers typically worked the fields of former plantation lands in exchange for a portion of the harvest, usually cotton. Though freed from captivity, sharecroppers were routinely exploited by their former masters, who continued to control the majority of arable land and by extension, workers' lives and futures. Here, Catlett emphasizes the outward signs of the woman's hard life, highlighting her weathered skin, humble clothing, and weary expression. And yet, despite her hardships, she remains proud, dignified, and resilient.

Exhibitions
  • America, Seen

    Saturday, December 19, 2015 - Sunday, September 04, 2016
Details
Title
Sharecropper
Artist Life
American and Mexican, 1915-2012
Role
Artist
Accession Number
P.97.1
Provenance
Private collection; (Sragow Gallery, New York); sold to MIA, 1997.
Catalogue Raisonne
Herzog, Elizabeth Catlett, pp.104-105
Curator Approved

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Bust-length portrait of a Black female field worker

Art © Elizabeth Catlett / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY

Because of © restrictions, we can only show you a small image of this artwork.