Elizabeth Catlett Residence Hall, University of Iowa
Aug 3rd, 2017
Elizabeth Catlett’s education began at Howard University, Washington D.C., where she studied painting and design with distinguished African-American educators James Porter (1905 – 1970) and Lois Mailou Jones (1905 – 1998). Graduating with honors in 1937, at the age of 22, she moved to Durham, North Carolina to teach art in the public school system. However she quickly became discouraged by the pay discrepancy between black and white teachers, and after organizing an unsuccessful campaign to reconcile the discriminatory pay gap, she left North Carolina. This episode marked the beginning of her activist approach toward social issues.