To commemorate the birth of Käthe Kollwitz (1867–1945) 150 years ago, the Kupferstich-Kabinett Dresden is presenting an exhibition of her graphic masterworks. The museum now holds 252 prints, four portfolio editions and 21 drawings: one of the most important public collections of the artist’s work.
The works of Käthe Kollwitz, who died in 1945 in Moritzburg near Dresden, represent perfect examples of the experimentation with new forms of expression taking place around 1900. In view of their quality and special correlation of artistic and content-related themes, they stand out uniquely from this movement.
Under the directorship of Max Lehrs (1855-1938), the Kupferstich-Kabinett Dresden was the first public museum to promote the work of the artist, thanks to a systematic purchasing policy. The artistic oeuvre of a woman with a decidedly social-critical attitude was a special feature in Wilhelminian Germany. Thus Max Lehrs contributed significantly to establishing Käthe Kollwitz as an artist.
As well as purchasing artistic works, the lively exchange of letters bears witness to the enormous esteem in which Kollwitz was held in Dresden owing to Lehrs’ actions.
A publication containing the exchange of letters between Käthe Kollwitz and the Kupferstich-Kabinett will be published coinciding with the exhibition.