Käthe Kollwitz  (German, 1867-1945) 

Kathe Kollwitz (German, July 8, 1867–April 22, 1945) was a painter and sculptor whose work was known for its depiction of the human condition, in often graphic detail. Kollwitz was born into a wealthy family in East Prussia, and began drawing lessons at the age of 14. She attended the Berlin School of Art in 1884, and later continued her studies in Munich, Germany. She studied in Munich with the painter Karl Stauffer-Bern (Swiss, 1857–1891).

Kollwitz’s earliest works are of working society, including sailors and peasants who she saw working for her father. Heavily influenced by painter Max Klinger (German, 1857–1920), her work often features dark and oppressive colors and subject matter. After marrying a doctor and settling in one of the poorest sections of Berlin, Kollwitz used her art to rail against what she saw as horrible social conditions for Germany's poor in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Much of Kollwitz's work is imagery of war, death, and social injustice. Throughout her life, most of her work would be connected to her own experience with pain and loss. She worked with a variety of mediums, but is perhaps best known for her drawings, woodcuts, etchings, and lithography. Initially her work was grounded in Naturalism, although she later moved on to Expressionism.

One of her well-known works is Woman with Dead Child (1903). In this etching, Kollwitz created large expanses of texture and tone using small dots in lines that were barely discernible. Many art enthusiasts believe that Kollwitz used a transfer technique to achieve this pattern. Another of her most famous works is Self Portrait, a 1924 ink wash on green paper. Her major collection is one entitled Peasant War, a group of Expressionistic works done from 1902 through 1908 that chronicle the uprising of Germany's poor. In 1920, Kollwitz was the first woman elected to the Prussian Academy of the Arts, and she took a place as a professor at Akademie der Künste in Berlin, Germany. She was forced to resign this position under Hitler's Nazi Regime in 1933. Because she did not support Hitler, her work was removed from museums. Her home was bombed in 1943. She remained in Berlin in spite of the dangers.

Kollwitz's works are available for purchase at hundreds of galleries around the world. Her work is on permanent display at several museums, including the Art Institute of Chicago in Chicago, IL, the Kathe Kollwitz Museum in Berlin, Germany, and the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art, in New York, NY. The artist died on April 22, 1945.

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Käthe Kollwitz, Mutter mit Jungen


Käthe Kollwitz
Mutter mit Jungen

Jörg Maass Kunsthandel
Käthe Kollwitz, Mutter mit Jungen


Käthe Kollwitz
Mutter mit Jungen

Auction: May 3, 2014
Dr. Irene Lehr Kunstauktionen
View Details | entire auction
Käthe Kollwitz, Conspiracy


Käthe Kollwitz

Galerie St. Etienne
Käthe Kollwitz, The Sacrifice


Käthe Kollwitz
The Sacrifice

Galerie St. Etienne
Käthe Kollwitz, Standing Nude Woman


Käthe Kollwitz
Standing Nude Woman

Galerie St. Etienne
Käthe Kollwitz, Schwangere


Käthe Kollwitz

Galerie Nierendorf
Käthe Kollwitz, Im Kinderkrankenhaus


Käthe Kollwitz
Im Kinderkrankenhaus

Galerie Nierendorf
Käthe Kollwitz, The Parents


Käthe Kollwitz
The Parents

Galerie St. Etienne
Käthe Kollwitz, Death in the Water


Käthe Kollwitz
Death in the Water

Galerie St. Etienne
Past auction results (7291)  View All
Käthe Kollwitz, Schlachtfeld (K.100 XI)


Käthe Kollwitz
Schlachtfeld (K.100 XI), 1907-1921
etching w/drypoint and aquatint in green and black


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Käthe Kollwitz, Aufruhr (Uprising)


Käthe Kollwitz
Aufruhr (Uprising), 1899


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Käthe Kollwitz, Untitled - Portrait of a Woman in Shawl


Käthe Kollwitz
Untitled - Portrait of a Woman in Shawl


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1867   Born in Königsberg, East Prussia
1884   Attended School for Women Artists, Berlin, Germany
1914   Death of youngest son Peter in battle; resulted in a prolonged depression and subsequent works based on WWI and her son
1919   First female member of the Prussian Academy, Berlin, Germany
1943   Work banned by the Nazis, Berlin, Germany
1945   Died in Moritzburg, Germany
2012   Wilhelm Loth Und KÄthe Kollwitz, Käthe Kollwitz Museum Köln, Cologne, Germany
2011   The Industrial Modern, MMoCA The Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, Madison, WI
2011   German Expressionism: The Graphic Impulse, MoMA Museum of Modern Art, New York City, NY
2010   Paris bezauberte mich - Käthe Kollwitz Museum Köln, Cologne
2008   Transforming Reality, Galerie St. Etienne, New York City, NY
2007   Apocalypse Now: The Theater of War,CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco, CA
2007   Private Treasures: Four Centuries of European Master Drawings, The National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
2007   International Incheon Women Artist's Biennale 2007, International Incheon Women Artist's Biennale, Incheon, South Korea
2007   Body Politics: Figurative Prints and Drawings from Schiele to De Kooning, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN
2007   Was ist Plastik? 100 Jahre-100 Köpfe-Das Jahrhundert moderner Skulptur, Stiftung Wilhelm Lehmbruck Museum, Center of International Sculpture, Duisburg,Germany
2006   Prints and Drawings of Käthe Kollwitz, The RISD Museum, Providence, RI
2006   Die Kunst des Selbstporträts: Sammlung Leonie von Rüxleben, Kunsthalle St. Annen Lübeck, Lübeck
2006   Conflict and Art, Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University, Stanford, CA
2006   Essay, Galerie St. Etienne, New York, NY
2006   Meisterwerke des 20. Jahrhunderts, Galerie Pels-Leusden, Berlin, Germany
2006   From Anxiety to Ecstasy: Themes in German Expressionist Prints, Portland Art Museum, Portland, OR
2006   Käthe Kollwitz, Kunstforum Ostdeutsche Galerie, Regensburg, Germany
2005   Self-Portraits: A Modern View. Works on Paper from 1900 to 1950, Musée des beaux-arts du Canada, Ottawa, Ontario
2005   25 Jahre Remmert und Barth, Galerie Remmert und Barth, Duesseldorf, Germany
2005   German Expressionism: Graphics from the collection of Muzeum Sztuki in Lodz, Muzeum Sztuki w £odz, Lodz
2005   Recent Acquisitions: And Some Thoughts on the Current Art Market, Galerie St. Etienne, New York, NY
2005   Überblick 2005, Galerie Remmert und Barth, Duesseldorf, Germany
2004   Bilder von Kindern. Bildern für Kinder, Leopold Museum, Vienna
2004   German Expression, Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, Den Haag, Netherlands
2004   Überblick 2004, Galerie Remmert und Barth, Duesseldorf, Germany
2004   Modern Means: Continuity and Change in Art from 1880 to the Present, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan
2004   Deutsche Druckgraphik: 20. Jahrhundert, Fred Jahn Studio, Kunsthandel, Munich, Germany
2004   Defiance Despair Desire: German Expressionist Prints fr. Marcia & Granvil Specks, Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, WI
1998   Becoming Käthe Kollwitz, Galerie St. Etienne New York, NY
1997   Käthe Kollwitz--Lea Grundig, Galerie St. Etienne New York, NY
1994   Käthe Kollwitz, Foundation Neumann Gingins and Vevey, Switzerland
1994   Three Berlin Artists of the Weimar Era, Des Moines Art Center Des Moines, IA
1994   Höch, Kollwitz, Mammen, Galerie St. Etienne New York, NY
1992   Käthe Kollwitz, National Gallery of Art Washington, DC
1991   Degenerate Art: The Fate of the Avant-Garde in Nazi Germany, Los Angeles County Museum of Art Los Angeles, CA
1990   Klinger, Kollwitz, Kubin, Galerie St. Etienne New York, NY
1989   Zwischen den Kriegen, Käthe Kollwitz Museum Berlin, Germany
1988   Atelier Gemeinschaft Klosterstrasse, Galerie Mitte Berlin, Germany
1988   Die Kollwitz-Sammlung des Dresdner Kupferstich-Kabinettes, Käthe Kollwitz Museum Cologne, Germany
1987   Käthe Kollwitz: The Power of the Print, Galerie St. Etienne New York, NY
1985   Käthe Kollwitz Handzeichnungen, Käthe Kollwitz Museum Cologne, Germany
1983   An alle Künstler! War-Revolution-Weimar, San Diego State University San Diego, CA
1981 - 1982   Käthe Kollwitz 1867-1945: The Graphic Works, Kettle's Yard Cambridge, England
1976   Käthe Kollwitz, Kennedy Galleries/Galerie St. Etienne New York, NY
1975   Käthe Kollwitz: Graphic Work, Stanford University Art Museum Palo Alto, CA
1971   Käthe Kollwitz, Tel Aviv Museum Tel Aviv, Israel
1967 - 1968   Käthe Kollwitz, Akademie der Künste Berlin, Germany
1965   Käthe Kollwitz Drawings, Galerie St. Etienne New York, NY
1947   Prints by Käthe Kollwitz, University of Chicago Chicago, IL
1943 - 1944   Käthe Kollwitz, Galerie St. Etienne New York, NY
1937   Degenerate Art, Circulated by the Nazis
1936   Berlin Sculptors - From Schlüter to the Present, Berlin, Germany
1925   Käthe Kollwitz, Civic Club New York, NY
1924   German Art Exhibition, Moscow, Russia
1917   Käthe Kollwitz zu ihrem fünfzigsten Geburtstag, Berlin Secession and other venues Germany
1898   Greater Berlin Art Exposition, Berlin, Germany
  Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA
  Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
  Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA
  Reading Public Museum, Reading, PA
  The Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, MI
  MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, MA