Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Art History

First Advisor

Eric Garberson


This art historiographical study focuses on African American artist Elizabeth Catlett’s linocut series I Am the Negro Woman, composed of fifteen images and executed in 1947 while Catlett was a visiting artist at the Taller de Graphica Popular in Mexico City. The series was exhibited shortly thereafter at the Barnett Aden Gallery in Washington, D.C., only to be largely marginalized by the art historical discourse of the following twenty-five years; however, during the Civil Rights Movement, a renewed interest in Catlett and her works began to develop. Later Feminist and Post-colonial art historians, seeking to widen the narrow mid-twentieth century canon, incrementally began to address these images in accordance with their respective interests, expanding the scholarship and increasing the exhibition of the series. The reputation of these images continues to grow, moving I Am the Negro Woman out of the margins of the art historical discourse into a more valued and recognized position.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

May 2011