Kollwitz at the Ulrich Museum of Art

30 04 2016

This spring, the Ulrich Museum of Art at Wichita State University mounted Transition and Turmoil: Human Expressions 1900-1945. The show-within-a-show is an entire gallery devoted to a Spotlight on Kaethe Kollwitz, the German printmaker and activist who lent her art to so many social and political causes in the early twentieth century. Kollwitz’s strong graphics take on general social issues of hunger, poverty, and militarism, and more specific works target particular plights such as extreme overcrowding of housing in Berlin, the phenomenon of German homeworkers (women doing piecework in the home because their factory jobs didn’t make ends meet), prisoners of war, and unsafe labor conditions in factories. Mothers feature in many of Kollwitz’s works as protectors, often attempting to shield children from terrible fates. In the Amsden Gallery at the Ulrich, one has the opportunity to be completely surrounded by Kollwitz prints.

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