Painter and sculptor, Käthe Kollwitz (1867-1945) was born as Käthe Schmidt in Königsberg, Germany July 8,1867. Kollwitz took drawing lessons in Köningsberg and studied at the Berlin School for Female Artists.
After short stays in Munich and Köningsberg, she moved to Berlin and married Dr. Karl Kollwitz in 1891. Hans, her first child was born in 1892, Peter was born in 1896.
In the beginning of her career Käthe Kollwitz encountered many difficulties. In those days women could not start a successful career easily. In 1893, the jury of the Great Berlin Art Exhibition rejected her work. Six years later Käthe Kollwitz entered the Berlin Secession.
In 1903 she began to work on her “Peasants’ War” cycle and a year later she moved to Paris, where she studied at the Academy of Julian for a short while. Kollwitz became acquainted with the famous sculptor August Rodin. In 1910 she created her first sculptural works. In 1914 her son, Peter died in Flanders. After the war she was appointed to the Prussian Art Academy. She would keep this position until 1933. Her important woodcut “Memorial to Karl Liebknecht” was created in 1921. Mr. Liebknecht, a revolutionary socialist, was assassinated in 1919. Ms. Kollwitz participated in the first exhibition of German art in the Soviet Union in 1924. In 1936, after the Nazis came into power, she was not allowed to exhibit her works anymore. During 1939 all of her works were removed from the museums and galleries. Karl Kollwitz died in 1940. She evacuated to Nordhausen in 1942, a year later she moved to Moritzburg. She died there on April 22,1945.
Kathe Kollwitz’s Artwork
Tod, Frau und Kind (Death, Woman & Child)