Lines and Colors art blog

Kathe Kollwitz
German artist Käthe Kollwitz began her career as a painter until, inspired by the prints of Max Klinger, she began creating etchings, lithographs and woodcuts, eventually abandoning painting for graphics.

Kollwitz was also a sculptor and her drawings and graphics have a distinctly sculptural quality, as if rough-hewn from wood or stone.

Her subjects were “rough” as well, often drawn from the poor and downtrodden in Berlin, who her husband attended as a doctor. She remained committed to pacifist and socialist ideals throughout her career. Much of her early work in particular was shaped by the death of one of her sons in the First World War.

She was the first woman elected to the Prussian Academy of Art, a post from which she was ejected by the Nazi Party, who also forbade her to exhibit; although they used some of her work for propaganda and included her in their derisive exhibition of “Degenerate Art”.

Through it all, she continued to create, and her work, even when portraying grief and tragedy, resonates with an uncanny strength.

There is an exhibit of her prints, posters and drawings at the CSU Art Museum in Long Beach, California from June 23 to August 5, 2006. Unfortunately there isn’t an online gallery accompanying the exhibit listing.

There is a Käthe Kollwitz museum in Berlin that has a gallery of her work.

The Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco has over 60 images of her work in their online image base, including the image above (detail here).

Link via Art Knowledge News.

Käthe Kollwitz CSU Art Museum

Käthe Kollwitz bio and gallery at the Käthe Kollwitz Museum

Käthe Kollwitz at Ciudad de la pintura (in Spanish)

Käthe Kollwitz at Artcyclopedia (links to other resources)


6 responses to “Käthe Kollwitz”

  1. Its just ammazing work ! Its one of the best artist sense ever ! We have here in Brazil one example – his name is Oswaldo Goeldi.

  2. Hi Charley- It was a nice surprise to see the link to this piece on Kollwitz. She has been one of my very favorite artists since I first saw her work back in the 70’s. She deserves much more notice than she generally gets. Thanks for this article.

  3. Excellent post! Her work is so potent. Thank you for the heads up on the Long Beach show. I might have missed it. You can also see a nice section of her prints and drawings in a book edited by Carl Zigrosser, titled “Prints and Drawings of Kathe Kollwitz”.

  4. awesome works!gifted Kathe Kollwitz

  5. Alistair Avatar

    As a person i truly appreciate the cold, honest behaviour displayed in the work of Kollwitz. So outstanding, striking and mindblowing…the strength is of great relevance and afformentioned, the work of Kollwitz needs far greater recognition

    1. I agree. She got a bit lost in the post-war Modernist hoopla. Hopefully the strength of her work is gaining recognition along with many under-appreciated 20th Century artists who worked in a representational style. The emotional impact of her work can be astonishing.