Sunday, November 19, 2023


1:30 pm

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Event Details

“Standing Strong” highlights the story of black activist-artist Elizabeth Catlett. Catlett studied under artist Grant Wood and in 1941 was the first African American female to receive an MFA from the University of Iowa in Studio Arts. Later she embraced the politically tolerant culture of Mexico, as a conducive environment for her to work as artist and teacher. Her connection to human rights on the heels of the McCarthy era created conflict leading to her imprisonment. Later Catlett renounced her American citizenship and became a Mexican citizen. Nevertheless, her works were still exhibited in museums world-wide. A pioneer of The Black Arts Movement, her activism continued throughout the Black Power and the feminist movements of the 1970s. Catlett later regained her American citizenship in 2002. Her monumental works of Malala Jackson and Ralph Ellison are awe inspiring, but her most iconic works are those of ordinary black women and mothers, which speak to obstacles she battled throughout her life.

The Des Moines Art Center added the tender print by Catlett “Links Together,” 1996, to the museum’s permanent collections in 2020.

This event is free, and registration is required.

Photo: Standing Strong: Elizabeth Catlett


Levitt Auditorium
4700 Grand Ave
Des Moines, IA 50312 United States