Elizabeth Catlett Mora (born April 15, 1915) is an African-American sculptor and printmaker. Catlett is best known for the black, expressionistic sculptures and prints she produced during the 1960s and 1970s, which are seen as politically charged.
In 1940 Catlett became the first student to receive an M.F.A. in sculpture at the University of Iowa School of Art and Art History. While there, she was influenced by American landscape painter Grant Wood, who urged students to work with the subjects they knew best. For Catlett, this meant black people, and especially black women, and it was at this point that her work began to focus on African Americans. Her piece Mother and Child, done in limestone in 1939 for her thesis, won first prize in sculpture at the American Negro Exposition in Chicago in 1940.
She studied ceramics at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1941, lithography at the Art Students League of New York in 1942-1943, and with sculptor Ossip Zadkine in New York in 1943.