Art/ Collection/ Art Object

I Have Always Worked Hard in America

Artist:
Elizabeth Catlett (Mexican (born United States), Washington, D.C. 1915–2012 Cuernavaca)
Date:
1946
Medium:
Linocut
Dimensions:
Image: 8 3/4 x 5 3/4in. (22.2 x 14.6cm) Sheet: 11 7/16 × 8 13/16 in. (29.1 × 22.4 cm)
Classification:
Prints
Credit Line:
Gift of Reba and Dave Williams, 1999
Accession Number:
1999.529.31
Not on view
Many modern artists who sought social justice turned to printmaking as an effective means of informing the public and promoting change. Catlett studied printmaking in Mexico City, where the great public murals by artists such as Diego Rivera impressed on her art’s powerful social function. Showing three domestic workers cleaning, I Have Always Worked Hard in America is one in a set of fifteen prints entitled The Negro Woman that Catlett created as a testament to the oppression, resistance, and survival of African American women. The worker in the foreground has particularly large hands that underscore her identity as a manual laborer.
Inscription: Signed, dated, and inscribed (in pencil, bottom): I have always worked hard in America E. Catlett '46
Newark Museum, held jointly at the Equitable Gallery, New York. "Alone in a Crowd: Prints of the 1930's–1940s by African-American Artists; From the Collection of Reba and Dave Williams," December 10, 1992–February 28, 1993, no. 12.

Long Beach Museum of Art. "Alone in a Crowd: Prints of the 1930's–1940s by African-American Artists; From the Collection of Reba and Dave Williams," June 4–August 8, 1993, no. 12.

Miami Beach. Bass Museum of Art. "Alone in a Crowd: Prints of the 1930's–1940s by African-American Artists; From the Collection of Reba and Dave Williams," June 18–August 13, 1995, no. 12.

Cambridge, England. Fitzwilliam Museum. "Alone in a Crowd: Prints of the 1930's–1940s by African-American Artists; From the Collection of Reba and Dave Williams," October 5–December 19, 1993, no. 12.

Albany. New York State Museum. "Alone in a Crowd: Prints of the 1930's–1940s by African-American Artists; From the Collection of Reba and Dave Williams," January 5–March 13, 1994, no. 12.

New Haven. Yale University Art Gallery. "Alone in a Crowd: Prints of the 1930's–1940s by African-American Artists; From the Collection of Reba and Dave Williams," April 7–June 12, 1994, no. 12.

Louisville. J. B. Speed Art Museum. "Alone in a Crowd: Prints of the 1930's–1940s by African-American Artists; From the Collection of Reba and Dave Williams," July 4–September 4, 1994, no. 12.

Philadelphia Museum of Art. "Alone in a Crowd: Prints of the 1930's–1940s by African-American Artists; From the Collection of Reba and Dave Williams," October 9–December 4, 1994, no. 12.

Baltimore Museum of Art. "Alone in a Crowd: Prints of the 1930's–1940s by African-American Artists; From the Collection of Reba and Dave Williams," January 4–February 26, 1995, no. 12.

Charleston. Gibbs Museum of Art. "Alone in a Crowd: Prints of the 1930's–1940s by African-American Artists; From the Collection of Reba and Dave Williams," March 26–May 21, 1995, no. 12.

Little Rock. Arkansas Arts Center. "Alone in a Crowd: Prints of the 1930's–1940s by African-American Artists; From the Collection of Reba and Dave Williams," September 10–November 5, 1995, no. 12.

Mobile, Ala. Fine Arts Museum of the South. "Alone in a Crowd: Prints of the 1930's–1940s by African-American Artists; From the Collection of Reba and Dave Williams," December 3, 1995–January 28, 1996, no. 12.

Brooklyn Museum. "Alone in a Crowd: Prints of the 1930's–1940s by African-American Artists; From the Collection of Reba and Dave Williams," February 25–April 22, 1996, no. 12.

Art Institute of Chicago. "Alone in a Crowd: Prints of the 1930's–1940s by African-American Artists; From the Collection of Reba and Dave Williams," May 17–July 14, 1996, no. 12.

Dallas Museum of Art. "Alone in a Crowd: Prints of the 1930's–1940s by African-American Artists; From the Collection of Reba and Dave Williams," August 9–October 6, 1996, no. 12.

Saint Louis Art Museum. "Alone in a Crowd: Prints of the 1930's–1940s by African-American Artists; From the Collection of Reba and Dave Williams," November 1, 1996–January 2, 1997, no. 12.

Atlanta. High Museum of Art. "Alone in a Crowd: Prints of the 1930's–1940s by African-American Artists; From the Collection of Reba and Dave Williams," January 31–March 30, 1997, no. 12.

Bronx Museum of the Arts. "Stargazers: Elizabeth Catlett in Conversation with 21 Contemporary Artists," January 27–May 29, 2011, unnumbered cat. (p. 73).

Gwendolyn Bennett. Paintings, Sculpture, and Prints of the Negro Woman by Elizabeth Catlett. Exh. cat., Barnett Aden Gallery. Washington, D. C., 1947, no. 17 (unknown edition).

Samella S. Lewis. The Art of Elizabeth Catlett. Claremont, Calif., 1984, p. 186 (unknown edition).

Samella S. Lewis in Elizabeth Catlett: Works on Paper, 1944–1992. Ed. Jeanne Zeidler. Exh. cat., Hampton University Museum. Hampton, Va., 1993, pp. 14, 64, no. 7, ill. (not this edition).

Linda Duke. The Black Woman in America Prints by Elizabeth Catlett. Exh. cat., Krannert Art Museum and Kinkead Pavilion, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Urbana-Champaign, 1993, (not this edition).



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