By Deborah Bailey,
AFRO DC Editor
The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) currently exhibits the work of world-renowned artist and DC native Elizabeth Catlett (19151-2012). The celebrated 20th-century sculptor and graphic designer now has three of her best-known depictions of the Black American experience inside the museum.
Three 5-foot tall sculptures, “Offering Education”, “Offering Life” and “Rejecting Injustice” are now on long-term display at the NMAAHC when visitors enter the museum through Heritage Hall.
The installation of these sculptures symbolizes motherhood and dignity, the struggle and upliftment of African Americans. Exhibiting Catlett’s work is just one of the many ways NMAAHC celebrated the end of Women’s History Month, in addition to amplifying stories through its Hidden Herstory initiative.
The pieces will join a selection of Catlett’s groundbreaking woodcuts currently featured in ‘Reckoning: Protest. Challenge. Resilience.” in the galleries of the Rhimes Family Foundation on the fourth floor of the museum.
Catlett was a 20th-century African-American and Mexican artist whose work intersected the intersections of race and feminism. Shaped by the stories her mother and grandmother told her of the hardships faced by black people, Catlett used her art to present issues that she felt were underrepresented in the mainstream art movement.
Since opening on September 24, 2016, the National Museum of African American History and Culture has welcomed more than 7.5 million in-person visitors and millions more through its digital presence.
Occupying a prominent location next to the Washington Monument on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., the nearly 400,000 square foot museum is the nation’s largest and most comprehensive cultural destination devoted exclusively to exploring, documenting and presenting African-American history and its impact. on American and world history.
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