Elizabeth Catlett “Sharecropper,” 1952-93 Editions, Linoleum Cut

Ellen Sragow
May 27, 2014 8:32PM

I have been representing the prints of Elizabeth Catlett since the 1980’s.  All of my information came from her, or through my own research.


The block for the linocut “Sharecropper” was cut by Elizabeth in 1952.  The print was exhibited at Atlanta University (now Clark Atlanta University) in its 11th Annual Exhibition, March 30-April 26, 1952.  She won the 2nd Atlanta University Purchase Award (2nd prize) in the print category for this image.  The copy in the Clark Atlanta collection has some color (brown) in the face and neck and the rest is in black and white (see image #2).  Elizabeth did experiment with color in 1952, by using color in the jacket, such as pale yellow or pale green (see image #3).  However, most of the proofs from this period are black and white (see image #4).  All of the prints pulled in 1952 that I have seen are on a specific paper with a slight coating. Most of them were printed by José Sanchez.  Some were printed by Elizabeth but were not documented.  All of the editions are initialed “EC” in the lower right corner of the image. Also in the lower left corner of the print one can see a small “X” which is part of the image in the block.  That area later got filled in as the block was used to print the 1968-70 and 1993 editions. The image was reproduced in a Taller de Gráfica Popular (TGP) publication, “Artes de Mexico” in July-August, 1957.  TGP was a printmaking workshop in Mexico City. 


The full color image (brown face and green jacket) was done in an edition of 60 in 1968-70 from the original block.  Elizabeth printed a few copies herself but it was too labor intensive so her printer, José Sanchez, printed the edition (see image #5).  A few black and white artists proofs were pulled as well, but are not documented.  There is no black and white edition from 1970.


Since she had never created a black and white edition, Elizabeth decided to pull an edition of 20 in 1993.  These were printed by Pedro Ascencio in Mexico City.  A few artists proofs were pulled as well but are not documented.

Image size: 17 5/8” x 16 15/16” ; paper sizes vary.

Please email [email protected] with any further information you might have on this print.

Ellen Sragow

May 2014

Ellen Sragow