To Catch a Unicorn, by Betye Saar, 1960

Betye Saar, Artist
To Catch a Unicorn , 1960

Color etching, Edition 1/20
16 3/4 x 9 1/2 (42.5 x 24.1 cm)
Credit Line
Collection of the artist; courtesy of Roberts Projects, Culver City, California. Photo by Ed Glendinning

Betye Saar is a pioneer of both second-wave feminism and the African American avant-garde, well known today for her assemblage works. To Catch a Unicorn, one of her early explorations of the etching technique, reflects the shifting political and cultural landscape of the early 1960s. The unicorn, a symbol of goodness in Western mythology, can be tamed only by a virgin, and Saar portrayed the virgin as an African American woman.