women in the arts

Käthe Kollwitz

This weeks Illustrated Women in History was submitted by Ellen Schaeffer of www.persistentsisters.com

Käthe Kollwitz, born in 1867 in the Prussian city of Könisberg (currently Kaliningrad, Russia), is known for her compassionate depictions of human suffering. Though she trained as a painter, Kollwitz eventually turned to printmaking, wanting to take advantage of accessibility and affordability in order to reach more people. Her socially motivated work offers enduring portraits of poverty, war, illness and death, with a focus on women and the working class. After losing her son during World War I, much of her work focused on experience of mourning. However, her self portraits and depictions of women offer a glimpse of strength, confidence and endurance during difficult times. Kollwitz was the first woman to be elected to the Prussian Academy of Art. In 1928, she became director of their graphic arts program, the first woman to hold that position.

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