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CONF: Käthe Kollwitz (1867-1945) – A life in text and image

The exhibition on the German artist Käthe Kollwitz at the IKON gallery in Birmingham is accompanied by an academic symposium with speakers from Museum, Art History and German Studies.

This symposium explores the life and work of the German artist Käthe Kollwitz (1867-1945). It examines her extensive and varied oeuvre, which encompassed printmaking, drawing and sculpture, and discusses this in relation to wider socio-political and cultural contexts in Germany and beyond. Kollwitz’s works are considered through a series of short papers and roundtable discussion. This is a unique chance to listen to academics, curators and writers talking about the impact of Kollwitz in a gallery setting surrounded by the artist’s own work.

The symposium is free of charge – booking is essential. Please book online or call IKON on 0121 248 0708. Please note that online booking closes at 5pm on Friday 13 October.


10.00 -10.30am
Coffee and registration

Jonathan Watkins (Ikon)
Frances Carey (British Museum)

Dorothy Price (University of Bristol): Imagining the Maternal

Elizabeth Kajs (University of Bristol): Motherhood at the Centre: Connecting Creativity and Reproduction in Käthe Kollwitz’s Artistic Practice

Discussion – Chair Frances Carey

Lunch (own arrangements) and Kollwitz exhibition

Shulamith Behr (Courtauld Institute of Art): Kollwitz through the Eyes of Women Art Critics: The “Hieroglyphic Language of Drawing” and Gendering of Authorship

Nina Lübbren (Anglia Ruskin University): Kollwitz: A Printmaker's Sculpture

Discussion – Chair Camilla Smith

3.20-3.50pm: Tea/coffee and comfort break

Nicholas Martin (University of Birmingham): Petrified Grief: The First World War in Käthe Kollwitz’s Art and Writing

4.20-4.50pm: Camilla Smith (University of Birmingham): Kollwitz during the 1930s: An Artist between Resistance and Conformity

Discussion – Chair Dorothy Price

5.15-6pm: Round table discussion: Kollwitz, legacy and sites of remembrance Lord Max Egremont and Frances Carey (chaired by Jonathan Watkins)

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