Käthe Kollwitz and

Käthe Kollwitz and "Boasting Virility" at Smith College's Museum of Art



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Publication Source

Käthe Kollwitz and the women of war : femininity, identity, and art in Germany during World Wars I and II

Inclusive Pages

31–40; Plates 41–100

Creation Date



Davis Museum at Wellesley College


Published in conjunction with the exhibitions The Krieg Cycle: Käthe Kollwitz and World War I, 16 September-13 December 2015 at the Davis Museum at Wellesley College, curated by Claire C. Whitner; and Mothers' Arms: Käthe Kollwitz's Women and War at the Smith College Museum of Art, 29 January-29 May 2016, curated by Henriëtte Kets de Vries.

Document Type

Book Chapter


Book abstract:
The art of German printmaker and sculptor Kathe Kollwitz (1867-1945) is famously empathetic; Kollwitz imbued her prints, drawings, and sculpture with eloquent and often painful commentary on the human condition, especially the horrors of war. This insightful book, the first English-language catalogue on Kollwitz in more than two decades, offers the singular opportunity to examine her work against the tumultuous backdrop of World Wars I and II. The societal cost of war became an enduring subject for Kollwitz after her youngest son died on the battlefield in Flanders in 1914. She dedicated much of the remainder of her career to creating images that questioned the efficacy of war, exposed its devastation, and promoted peace. The essays discuss the motifs she developed in this pursuit-young widows, grieving parents alongside maternal figures that serve as defenders, guardians, activists, and mourners-within the context of German visual culture from 1914 to 1945. 0Exhibition: Davis Museum at Wellesley College, Wellesley, USA (16.09-20.12.2015) / Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton, USA (29.01-29.05.2016).

Käthe Kollwitz and

Five College Library Catalog