Friday, November 24, 2006


Kathe Kollwitz is one of my favorite artists. I had a reproduction of her “Seed Corn Must Not Be Ground” on the bulletin board in my office. It was her last print, a lithograph, done in 1942 when she was 75, in defiance of Hitler. I cut a photo from the newspaper of an Iraqi mother in a ditch, sheltering her children in just the same way, her expression and those of her children so like those in “Seed Corn.” She had been warned by the German authorities about her activities but was never imprisoned. The title is a line from Goethe. Someone who saw her a few months before her death in 1945 “had the feeling that she was living in a bright and serene inner world, more and more withdrawn even from her own art.” Her husband had died in 1940 and a son and a grandson had been killed in the two wars.

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