Kollwitz, Käthe Schmidt (kāˈtə shmĭt kôlˈvĭts) [key], 1867–1945, German graphic artist and sculptor. She first gained a reputation with her illustrations for Hauptmann's Weavers and Zola's Germinal. Kollwitz became known for her superb woodcuts and lithographs. An ardent socialist and pacifist, she produced stark and anguished portrayals of misery and hunger such as Death and the Mother (1934, Phila. Mus. of Art). These powerful images convey her compassion for the poor. In 1932 she was director of the department of graphic arts at the Berlin Academy, but the advent of the Nazi party ended her public career in Germany.
See her diary and letters (1955); her prints and drawings, ed. by C. Zigrosser (2d ed. 1969); study by O. Nagel (tr. 1971).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.