Kathe Kollwitz (German artist)


2015-06-26 11:07:23

Kathe Kollwitz (German artist)

Käthe Schmidt Kollwitz was a German painter, printmaker and sculptor.


Kollwitz was born on July 8, 1867 in Königsberg, East Prussia (now Kaliningrad, Russia). In 1886, she began to attend the drawing classes of Karl Stauffer-Bern at the School for Female Artists in Berlin. She took further classes with the painter Emil Neide in Königsbern in 1887, finally studying in Munich under Ludwig Herterich until 1890.

Her artistic work embraces both crucial and negative aspects of everyday life (for example poverty, death, hunger or war) on one side, happiness of life, good feelings, luck and success, on the other. For her work, Käthe Kollwitz was honoured by becoming the first female member of the Prussian Academy of Arts in 1919. She died on 22, April 1945 in Moritzburg, Germany. She was 77.

Guide for collectors

Forty years after the death of Käthe Kollwitz a permanent home for a major part of her complete works - Käthe-Kollwitz-Museum Berlin - has been set up. The Museum contains 200 drawings and graphic works, several of which are well-known. For example the lithography Brot! (1924) or drawings called Selbstbildnis en face (1904), Frau mit totem Kind (1903), Selbstbildnis (1924) and Saatfrüchte sollen nicht vermahlen warden (1941).

The Käthe-Kollwitz-Museum Berlin includes also 15 original posters and the same number of sculptures (including Mutter mit zwei Kindern from 1932 – 1936 or Pietà from 1937-1938).

Besides Käthe-Kollwitz-Museum, many other museums and galleries include Kollwitz’s works in their collections. For example: Käthe Kollwitz Museum in Cologne, Germany; Art Institute of Chicago, USA; Kathe Kollwitz at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, USA; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, USA; National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh, Scotland; Aichi Prefectural Museum of Art, Japan; Deutsches Historisches Museum, Berlin, Germany; Museu Nacional de Belas Artes, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Portland Museum of Art, Maine, USA or Spencer Museum of Art at the University of Kansas, USA.
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Most famous works

Käthe Kollwitz’s most famous creation was a series of six works called The Weavers' Uprising (including works named Poverty, Death, Conspiracy, The March of the Weavers (actually in Oklahoma City Museum of Art, Oklahoma), Storm and The End (actually in Spencer Museum of Art at the University of Kansas, USA)). Inspired by a drama of the same name, The Weavers' Uprising expresses life’s misery, hope, courage and doom.

Most expensive works

Another famous works include paintings like Tod mit Frau im Schoss (sold for $80,500 on 5 – 6, November 2008 at Christie’s auction in New York), Frau mit totem Kind (sold for $74,500 on 7, May 2009 at Christie’s auction in New York) or Frau vertraut sich dem Tod an (sold for $62,500 on 5 - 6 November 2008 at Christie’s auction in New York).

Worth mentioning are also Kollwitz’s sculptures. For example, Die Klage - also known as Lamentation: In Memory of Ernst Barlach (sold for $40,625 on 11 October 2011 at Sotheby’s auction in New York), Pieta (sold for $41,825 on 5, May 2004 at Christie’s in New York) or Mutter mit Kind über der Schulter (Die Darbietung) (sold for €22,500 on 17, November 2010 in Amsterdam, Netherlands).

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