Kathe KOLLWITZ |
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Russian (Fed.) 1867 - 1945
One of the greatest graphic artists of all time, Kollwitz, the granddaughter of a radical preacher and the daughter of a union organizer, a pacifist, and a socialist, spent her life in an autocratic state which, whether rulerd by the Kaiser or the Nazis, hated everything for which she stood.Kathe Kollwitz is regarded as one of the most important German artists of the twentieth century, and as a remarkable woman who created timeless art works against the backdrop of a life of great sorrow, hardship and heartache.
Kathe was born in 1867 in Konigsberg, East Prussia (now Kalingrad in Russia). She studied art in Berlin and began producing etchings in 1980 In 1981 she married Dr Karl Kollwitz and they settled in a working class area of north Berlin. In 1896 her second son, Peter, was born.
From 1998 to to 1903 Kathe taught at the Berlin School of Women Artists, and in 1910 began to create sculpture.
In 1914 her son Peter was killed in Flanders. The loss of Peter contributed to her socialist and pacifist political sympathies. In 1919 she worked on a commemorative woodcut dedicated to Karl Liebknecht, the revolutionary socialist murdered in 1919. Kathe believed that art should reflect the social conditions of the time and during the 1920s she produced a series of works reflecting her concern with the themes of war, poverty, working class life and the lives of ordinary women.
In 1932 the war memorial to her son Peter - The Parents - was dedicated at Vladslo military cemetery in Flanders. Kathe became the first woman to be elected to the Prussian Academy of Arts, but in 1933, when Hitler came to power, she was expelled from the Academy . In 1936 she was barred by the Nazis from exhibiting, her art was classified as 'degenerate' and her works were removed from galleries.
In 1940 Karl Kollwitz died. In 1942 her grandson, Peter, was killed at the Russian front. In 1943 Kathe's home was destroyed by British bombing and she was evacuated from Berlin to Moritzburg, near Dresden. ...
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