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"SOJOURNER" by Elizabeth Catlett

Catlett sculpture, "Sojourner"

In early January, 2013, "Sojourner", by Elizabeth Catlett, located at the Convention Center Sculpture Garden was vandalized. It was knocked off of its base and broken into several pieces. A nationally known conservator directed the restoration effort and in August 2014 the artwork was relocated to the Crocker Art Museum, located at 215 O Street in Sacramento. You may see the sculpture without paying an entry fee to the Museum.

Elizabeth Catlett was commissioned by the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission in 1998. The 7' high, Mexican Limestone sculpture of a woman with crossed arms, a flowing skirt and gazing upwards celebrates the heroic strength and endurance of African-American and Mexican working-class women. Historically, "Sojourner" is a reference to Sojourner Truth, the self-given name of Isabella Baumfree, an African-American abolitionist and women's rights activist born into slavery in New York. She escaped with her infant daughter to freedom in 1826 and after going to court to recover her son, she became the first black woman to win such a case against a white man. Elizabeth Catlett Mora (April 15, 1915 - April 2, 2012) was a sculptor and printmaker whose remarkable career as an artist and activist was groundbreaking and significant. Art historian Melanie Herzog describes Catlett as "the foremost African American woman artist of her generation." Her long career spanned several political and social movements including the Chicago Renaissance of the 1940's, the Black Power and Black Arts movements of the 1960's, the Mexican Public Art Movement, and feminism, all of which influenced her art.

Images of the aftermath of the vandalism

Catlett sculpture, "Sojourner"

Catlett sculpture, "Sojourner"

Images of the restoration process and installation at the Crocker Art Museum

Catlett sculpture, "Sojourner"

Catlett sculpture, "Sojourner"

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