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Ethel Rosenberg

Ethel Rosenberg
Usage Conditions Apply
Artist
Elizabeth Catlett, 15 Apr 1915 - 2 Apr 2012
Sitter
Ethel Greenglass Rosenberg, 28 Sep 1915 - 19 Jun 1953
Date
1952
Type
Drawing
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Sheet: 28.3 x 26.5cm (11 1/8 x 10 7/16")
Mat: 55.9 x 40.6cm (22 x 16")
Topic
Ethel Greenglass Rosenberg: Female
Ethel Greenglass Rosenberg: Military\Spy
Portrait
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Restrictions & Rights
Usage conditions apply
Copyright
© Catlett Mora Family Trust / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY
Object number
NPG.2002.82
Exhibition Label
Born New York City
For artist Elizabeth Catlett, the evidence against convicted (and eventually executed) spy Ethel Rosenberg during her controversial trial seemed far weaker than the case against her husband, Julius. Catlett made this drawing of Rosenberg for a protest poster published by the Taller de Gráfica Popular, a Mexican printmaking collective dedicated to social causes. The role of women as mothers, leaders, and survivors had been a potent theme for Catlett throughout her career, and her forceful portrait of Rosenberg was intended to be a confrontational feminist statement. Copying the likeness from a newspaper photograph, Catlett straightened the head, turned it slightly for a more frontal pose, and singled out the face alone. By transforming the news photo into an iconic image, she universalized Rosenberg’s sacrifices. “Art,” Catlett once wrote, “can provoke thought and prepare us for change.”
Nacida en la Ciudad de Nueva York
Para la artista Elizabeth Catlett, las pruebas contra la espía condenada (y finalmente ejecutada) Ethel Rosenberg durante su controvertido juicio parecían ser mucho más débiles que las presentadas contra su esposo, Julius. Catlett realizó este dibujo de Rosenberg para un cartel de protesta publicado por el Taller de Gráfica Popular, un colectivo de grabadores mexicanos dedicado a las causas sociales. El papel de las mujeres como madres, líderes y supervivientes había sido un tema importante para Catlett durante su carrera y su contundente retrato de Rosenberg tenía por objetivo ser una declaración feminista controvertida. Copiando su aspecto a partir de la fotografía de un periódico, Catlett enderezó la cabeza, la giró ligeramente para conseguir una pose más frontal y eliminó todo aquello que no fuera el rostro. Al transformar la fotografía del periódico en una imagen icónica, universalizó los sacrificios de Rosenberg. “El arte”, escribió una vez Catlett, “puede provocar el pensamiento y prepararnos para el cambio”.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery