Köllwitz, Käthe

nee Schmidt (1867-1945)
   sculptor and graphic artist; her empathetic work made her one of the century's best-known women* artists. Born in Konigsberg, she was inspired by a socialist-Christian upbringing. She moved to Berlin* in 1885 to study at Karl Stauffer-Bern's School for Women Artists and pursued similar studies in Munich during 1888-1889. After marrying the physician Karl Kollwitz in 1891, she and her husband settled in Berlin's Prenzlauer-Berg district. Her first print cycle Der Weberaufstand (The weavers' rebellion), based on Gerhart Hauptmann's* play, was completed during 1893-1898. Achieving a gold medal in 1899, the work ensconced a lasting vision that included recurrent images of death. A similar series, Bauernkrieg (Peasants' war), appeared in 1908. In 1903 she began an eight-year freelance connection with Simplizissimus. While her style resembled that of the Brucke artists, she never identified herself as an Expressionist.
   World War I, in which she lost a son, led Kollwitz to internalize the pain of the widowed, orphaned, and bereaved. Daily contact with the proletariat, many of whom were treated in her husband's office, reinforced her commitment to the dignity of human life. In 1919 she was the first woman elected to the Prus-sian Academy of Arts, an honor that brought a studio and, from 1928, a salary as a Prussian civil servant. Encouraged by the sculptor Ernst Barlach,* she did Krieg (War) in 1922-1923 and Proletariat in 1925 as woodcuts. Her image memorializing Karl Liebknecht,* Die Lebenden den Toten (The living to the dead), was completed as both a lithograph and a woodcut. She helped found the Gesellschaft der Kunstlerinnen und Kunstfreunde (Society for Women Art-ists and Friends of Art) in 1926, but spent much of the decade doing posters for left-wing, international relief groups. Some of these—Deutschlands Kinder Hungern! (Germany's children are starving!), Brot! (Bread!), and Nie Wieder Krieg! (Never again war!)—are among her best work.
   The NSDAP expelled Kollwitz from the Prussian Academy in March 1933. Although she worked the remainder of her life in Germany, evacuating Berlin for Moritzburg (near Dresden) in 1944, the Nazis made her an "unperson" by ignoring her.
   REFERENCES:International Dictionary of Art and Artists; Kearns, Kathe Kollwitz; Nagel, Drawings; NDB, vol. 12; Prelinger, Comini, and Bachert, Kathe Kollwitz.

A Historical dictionary of Germany's Weimar Republic, 1918-1933. .

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  • Kollwitz, Käthe —    см. Кольвиц, Кэте …   Энциклопедический словарь экспрессионизма

  • Kollwitz, Kathe Schmidt — (7/8/1867 4/22/1945) (Germany)    Influential German Expressionist painter, print maker, and sculptor. She trained under Rudolf Mauer for engraving, under Karl Stauffer Bern and Ludwig Herterich for painting and drawing. Her work addressed a wide …   Dictionary of erotic artists: painters, sculptors, printmakers, graphic designers and illustrators

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  • KOLLWITZ (K.) — KOLLWITZ KÄTHE SCHMIDT (1867 1945) Une des artistes les plus représentatives de l’expressionnisme allemand par la violence dramatique des thèmes qu’elle traite dans un style puissant, avec une sincérité passionnée. Née à Königsberg dans un milieu …   Encyclopédie Universelle

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