Book version and Online catalogue
In her sculptural work, the artist, famous for her expressive works of graphic art, also explored the central questions of human life which were often the main focus here. On the occasion of its 30th anniversary in 2016, the Käthe Kollwitz Museum Köln published the first catalogue raisonné of Käthe Kollwitz’ sculptures after extensive research work.
»If I could live my life again I would only work as a sculptress«, Käthe Kollwitz is reported to have said to Prince Ernst Heinrich of Saxony towards the end of her life. Today, it seems almost a truism that the worldwide most famous female German artist of the 20th century was not just a graphic artist, but also a sculptress. For Käthe Kollwitz, however, who approached sculptural work as late as 1904, when she was almost 37 years old, it was an uphill struggle before she was happy with the results of her creative activities.
19 sculptural works out of a total of 43 projects have been preserved, 15 works were used in bronze casts. The catalogue raisonné, financed by the Kreissparkasse Köln, the savings bank behind the Cologne Käthe Kollwitz Museum, documents the genesis of the artist’s sculptural work, the artistic context as well as technical aspects, as some of the works were executed in various casting techniques and materials.
In addition to the print version, which is a richly illustrated catalogue containing fascinating information and stories around casting techniques, description of motifs and new interpretative approaches, a second part is available online:
The online publication focusses on lists of copies, i.e. the actual catalogue raisonné of the worldwide inventory of Kollwitz sculptures at their relevant current locations, information on their provenance, literature and exhibition history.
The format of online publication was chosen to be able to regularly update the information, which is liable to change.
This publication also gives information on foundries that were commissioned by Kollwitz or the community of heirs, descriptions of traditional casting techniques such as lost wax technique and sand casting. It also demonstrates how traces of technical and manual processes may yield information that helps in dating a cast.
CATALOGUE RAISONNÉ OF KÄTHE KOLLWITZ’ SCULPTURAL WORK