1990 UNTIL TODAY –
PRESENTING, CONSERVING, RESEARCHING, COLLECTING, INFORMING
Since 1990 the director of the museum has been the art historian Hannelore Fischer M.A., who had been involved in the fundamental work for the creation of the museum from the very beginning.
Giving due regard to the five pillars of traditional museum work, the Käthe Kollwitz Museum Köln has not only found its firm position in Cologne’s cultural life under her directorship, but has become the most comprehensive and important Kollwitz collection and enjoys worldwide renown as one of the major monographic collections.
Presenting. Apart from the presentation of major works from the permanent collection, the Käthe Kollwitz Museum Köln offers special exhibitions focusing on historical and thematic connections, artistic techniques and photography, as well as monographic exhibitions of artists with a particular relationship to the works of Kollwitz.
Conserving. The works at the Cologne Kollwitz collection are – where this becomes necessary – restored by renowned specialists according to modern standards of conservational conditions with regard to climate control, air monitoring and light protection. Conserving the objects also includes appropriate art-handling as well as all aspects of safety and security.
Researching. Research into the provenance of the works at the Cologne Kollwitz collection has highest priority, both for academic and for legal reasons. The museum’s research activities – above all the publication of catalogues raisonnés of sculptural works, prints and drawings (in process) – set the benchmark and awaken international interest in the artist. These activities are based on an excellent library – including a photo library – and research archives.
Collecting. The concept behind the museum’s collecting activities is to complement the collection, making it accessible to academic research and to present a comprehensive image of the artist and her works. The focal points are above all the drawings from her early period and folios documenting the artist’s approach to her work. For this reason, the Kollwitz collection has a large number of preparatory drawings and proofs for the cycles »Ein Weberaustand« (A Weavers’ Revolt) (1893–97), »Bauernkrieg« (Peasants War) (1902/03–1908) and »Krieg« (War) (1921/22). Another collection focus are preparatory works for the etching »Tod, Frau und Kind« (Death, Woman and Child) (1910) – a theme which the artist thoroughly explored, above all during the especially productive period of 1910/1911.
Informing. The Käthe Kollwitz Museum’s educational programme with its guided tours and workshop for various different target groups, public lectures and discussion groups, as well as the publication of catalogues, aims at communicating the importance of the artist on a local level. At the same time, the museum regards itself as an ambassador. Numerous requests for loans from museums outside Cologne demonstrate the importance of the Cologne Kollwitz collection on a national and international level and reflect the continuing interest in Käthe Kollwitz worldwide.