Käthe Kollwitz (1867-1945)

Video (15:28): Käte Kollwitz, a short film by Herbert Apelt (1961).

[The copyright of the video above remains with the original holder and it is used here for the purpose of education, comparison and criticism only.]

About Käte Kollwitz

‘Käthe Kollwitz, in her lifetime – and after – Germany’s best-known female artist, is also famous as a public figure who spoke out in her art and her words for the values she believed in: social democracy, international pacifism, concern for the poor and downtrodden. (…) As a female artist Kollwitz was in many respects a pioneer, overcoming traditional barriers to become the first woman admitted to the Prussian Academy of Arts (1919)’. – Fembio

Käte Kollwitz’s reputation grew during the 1920s. In 1933, however, her reputation as a supporter of Social Democracy and her early warnings and protests against the new Hitler regime brought about her forced exit from the Akademie der Künste and close her studio. She died in 1945.

In 1923 she wrote :
‘From my first infatuation on I’ve always been in love; it was a chronic condition, sometimes just a slight undertone, sometimes it grabbed me more powerfully. I wasn’t choosy in my choice of love-object. Sometimes it was women that I loved. The ones I was in love with seldom noticed. [….] Looking back over my life I must add that, although the inclination to the male sex was dominant with me, I nevertheless repeatedly felt an attraction to my own sex, which I mostly only much later understood how to interpret correctly. I also believe that bisexuality is almost a necessary prerequisite for artistic activity, that in any event the element of masculinity in me was helpful in my work.’ – Fembio

Read more: Käte Kollwitz at Fembio.org