In “How to Make a Dress,” Christina Heatherton examines the early life of legendary artist, Elizabeth Catlett. Tracing her path through art collectives and workers’ schools during the Great Depression, Heatherton observes Catlett’s development as a radical artist and teacher. From Chicago’s Southside Community Art Center, Harlem’s George Washington Carver School, and Mexico City’s Taller de Gràfica Popular, Catlett evolved as a radical feminist, fierce anti-racist, and staunch internationalist. Drawing from memoirs, surveillance records, periodicals, print collections, lithographs, and interviews with Catlett, her friends, and family members, Heatherton describes the evolution of her politics. By teaching and learning from Black working class women in the U.S. and by translating their experiences within a global class struggle, Catlett learned to “make a dress,” and in the process, Heatherton argues, she became a revolutionary.
Donate to our 5 year anniversary!