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Postcards to Käthe Kollwitz

July 6th, 2018

Sketch in pencil inspired by a Kollwitz drawing.

Image by the AGO.

Among the 50-plus prints, drawings and sculptures in our Käthe Kollwitz: Art and Life exhibition, our visitors found something else – inspiration.

Käthe Kollwitz, one of Germany’s most significant modern artists, is perhaps best known for prints and drawings inspired by her experiences of motherhood, life in working class Berlin and the trauma of living through two world wars. Her work explores the human cost in this period of great upheaval.

Our exhibition, on now on Level 1, invites visitors of all ages to take a blank card and leave a drawing or message inspired by Kollwitz’s art. “The activity can help visitors create their own personal experiences with the art. Everyone looks at art differently,” says AGO Assistant Interpretive Planner Laura Robb, who designed the Kollwitz response station. “The act of putting a pencil on a paper is one that is very conscious and deliberate. When you can have that kind of experience in an exhibition, the exhibition’s messages and key points tend to linger with people. The visitors’ responses show how Kollwitz’s art still resonates today.”

From the inventive to the impassioned, here are some of our favourite visitor responses.

Image by the AGO.

Image by the AGO.

a note reading, "As I look at these images of Kollwitz, I am thinking of the dire situations of refugees today"

Image by the AGO.

A sketch of a woman crying.

Image by the AGO.

Käthe Kollwitz: Art and Life is possible thanks to Dr. Brian McCrindle, who in 2015 generously donated 170 prints, drawings, and sculptures by Kollwitz to the AGO, making our collection of her works one of the largest outside of Germany.

Käthe Kollwitz: Art and Life is on display until September 30, 2018 and is included with General Admission. The exhibition is in the Linda & Bob Krembil Pathway, the Walter Trier Gallery , the Nicholas Fodor Gallery, and the Esther & Arthur Gelber Treasury (they’re on Level 1, Galleries 124, 139–142).

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