In 2024, the museum will move into its final, larger exhibition space on the first floor of the theatre building and will have space for temporary exhibitions in addition to the permanent presentation of Käthe Kollwitz’s work. To cover the time without special exhibitions until then, the “Intervention” format has been created. Selected, special Kollwitz sheets from private collections will complement the general overview of her work in the exhibition “And yet it is art”.

From November 10, 2023, the museum will be showing drawings and sketches of Simplicissimus. Käthe Kollwitz worked particularly intensively for the Munich satirical magazine in 1908 and 1909, and publications of her work can be found there repeatedly until 1924. In a letter to her student friend Beate Bonus-Jeep, Kollwitz expresses her enthusiasm about her work for Simplicissimus:

“This work pleases me extraordinarily. He has printed one drawing that fits the mining accident in Hamm, he still has two others lying around, and I have just finished a fourth. (…) He leaves the type of drawing entirely up to me, as well as the motif, and I would probably have a whole year’s worth of material to draw for him. (…) The need to be finished quickly, the necessity of having to express something in a popular way, and yet the possibility (…) of remaining artistic, but above all the fact that I can often express in front of a large audience what always excites me and what has not yet been said enough: the many quiet and loud tragedies of life in the big city – all this together makes this work extraordinarily dear to me.”

Käthe Kollwitz supplied the magazine with drawings created especially for it, some of which she later executed as prints. Of the total of 16 works, many have survived in public collections such as that of the Kollwitz Museum, others are lost and some are in private hands and are presented as loans in this INTERVENTION for the first time together with the museum’s own sheets.

The museum will be showing “Discarded Versions War” from August 25 until October 29, 2023; extended till November 5, 2023. Käthe Kollwitz began to work in graphic art again after a long time in January 1918. The loss of her younger son Peter as a war volunteer in the First World War had hit her and her husband hard. Many of Peter’s friends and acquaintances also fell in the course of the war and the idea of “working the war stuff in context” grew in the artist – she had a whole cycle in mind. The first etchings and lithographs were created and, after several reworkings, were finally discarded until she found the final form with the technique of the woodcut, which was new to her.

The intervention on the rejected versions of the cycle War presents the artist’s path in a vivid and exciting way. Thanks to support from private collections, various versions and condition prints of a motif can be shown and the artist’s working method can be traced on some of the sheets of the Krieg cycle from the sketch to the final print.

The first of three “Interventions” on the theme of “Mother and Child” started on 15 March 2023. The occasion was the return of the original plaster sculpture “Mother with Two Children” by Käthe Kollwitz at the end of February from the exhibition “Torn Modernism” at the Kunstmuseum Basel. During the museum move, the large sculpture had gone on a journey and was finally able to take up its new place in the permanent exhibition at its new location. It was now surrounded by drawings and rare prints on the theme of “Mother and Child” until mid-May. These are depictions in which Käthe Kollwitz recorded intimate observations between mother and child, and which illustrate her artistic elaboration into print works and even sculptural work. A glimpse into the artist’s workshop is thus possible. In winter, there will be another intervention on the theme of “Simplicissimus”.

Accompanying the three exhibition interventions, there will be Slow Art guided tours as an after-work date with Käthe Kollwitz. The next date for “Simplicissimus” will be on December 7, 2023 at 18.00. See further information on the homepage in the section Art Experience.