Happy Birthday Käthe Kollwitz!

Praying woman, 1892. Musée d’art moderne et contemporain of Strasbourg

The subject of one of my college research papers was the German-born painter, printmaker, and sculptor, Käthe Kollwitz. Do not worry. I will not post the paper in its entirety. I will just give you the abbreviated version; not because it is undeserving, but because I want you to learn more about her and her work on your own. It is pretty powerful to see the work and relate it to what was happening in the world, and in her own life, at the time she created the work.

The brief background is that Kollwitz’s reoccurring themes of the human condition categorized her art as part of the German Expressionism movement. Her work was a vehicle that confronted current world affairs. But, her compassionate depiction of these themes is what most defines her art. She articulated these themes in a powerful, yet poignant, style. However, her works did not escape controversy during World War II. Much of Kollwitz’s works, which were considered social statements, were banned due to its anti-war content. Although her work was banned, it has withstood the test of time, politics, censorship, all the things that set us apart, and focuses on what we have in common. Her work has spanned geographic borders, generations, and continues to be popular today.

I do hope you will look at some of her work and read a little about her.