Rarely Seen Käthe Kollwitz Prints
Exhibition of Rarely Seen Käthe Kollwitz Prints on View
A selection of thirteen rarely seen prints by German Expressionist artist Käthe Kollwitz (1867-1945) will be
on view in the Herstory Gallery of the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art from March 15 through
September 15, 2013. The first complete Brooklyn Museum presentation of the artist's powerful print cycle
War (Krieg), Käthe Kollwitz Prints will focus on works relating to the impact of war that the artist created
between World War I, when her son was killed in Flanders, and World War II.
March 15 through September 15, 2013, at the Brooklyn Museum
Included will be woodcuts from the Krieg series; The Sacrifice, depicting a mother with outstretched arms
offering up her infant; and The Parents, an image of a grief-stricken couple. Also on view will be a 1927
self-portrait of the artist in profile and, from the Death cycle of lithographs, Woman Entrusts Herself to
Death and Death Seizes the Children. These images of familial tenderness, the daily struggles of the poor
and working classes, and the degree to which they bear the burden of war are the primary focus of Kollwitz's
Born in Königsberg, East Prussia, painter, printmaker, and sculptor Kollwitz is regarded as one of the most
important German artists of the twentieth century. As a child she became interested in art, but because
she was a woman, she was unable to find a place in an art academy or college. Eventually she moved to
Berlin, where she attended an art school for women. She began producing etchings in the late nineteenth
century, first working in a naturalistic style and later moving toward expressionism. In 1919 Kollwitz became
the first woman to be elected to the Prussian Academy of Arts. A lifelong pacifist and socialist, she was
expelled from the Academy when Hitler came to power, and in 1936 her art was classified by the Nazis as
degenerate. She was barred from exhibiting and her works were removed from galleries and museums.
Kollwitz's nineteen-year-old son Peter was killed on the battlefield in 1914, after which the artist suffered
a prolonged period of depression. To a friend she said, "There is in our lives a wound which will never heal.
Nor should it."
Image: Käthe Kollwitz (German, 1867-1945). The Widow I (Die Witwe I), 1922-23. Woodcut on heavy Japan paper, 26 x 18 11/16 in. (66 x 47.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Carl H. de Silver Fund, 44.201.4. © 2012 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn
200 Eastern Parkway Brooklyn NY 11238-6052
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