Published: November 25, 2003
– Hamilton College’s Emerson Gallery presents the art of Käthe Kollwitz, a German woman and mother who offered the world a unique perspective on war. While her male contemporaries, two of whom are included in this exhibition, were illustrating the horrors of the World War I battlefields, Kollwitz illuminated the agony of the home front and the anxiety of a soldier’s mother.
Opening Friday, December 5, the exhibition includes more than 30 Kollwitz lithographs and woodcuts along side the works of two male artists, Felix Vallotton and George Bellows.
The exhibition provides a clear differentiation in focus between Kollwitz and the two men. Vallotton, a Swiss citizen who fought in the war, presents battle scenes that are less emotional and almost satirical in nature. Bellows, who never participated in the war but produced his images in California, was inspired by the nation’s spirit of patriotism and by the work of Goya.
Kollwitz’s seven images in the series called Krieg! (War!), haunting images of the effects of war on those left behind, are included in this exhibition. Together with other examples of Kollwitz’s work throughout her career, they offer visitors a rare opportunity to see the work of one of the premier female artists of the Twentieth Century and to view the anguish of war from a unique perspective.
Although relatively unknown in the United States., Kollwitz is well-known in Europe. A museum dedicated to her work is located in Berlin.
This exhibition was created by Katie Poulin, a Hamilton senior art history concentrator who received an Emerson Grant for Summer Collaboration to study the differences between how men and women view war. With loans from the Boston Public Library, Poulin organized this show to celebrate the art of one of the first female artists to portray war. Her collaborating professor was associate professor of art Deborah Pokinski.
The exhibition, which is free and open to the public, opens on December 5 and closes on February 22. A reception will be held from 4 to 6 pm in the gallery on December 5.
The Emerson Gallery is on the Hamilton College campus, in the Christian Johnson Hall directly behind the chapel. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 10 am to 5 pm, and on Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 5 pm. For information, 315-859-4396.
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