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The Power of the Female Gaze, 5/19-9/3/2017

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Self-Portrait

1934
14 15/16 x 10 5/8 in. (38 x 27 cm)

Käthe Kollwitz
German (1867 - 1945)

Object Type: Print
Medium and Support: Lithograph
Credit Line: Gallery purchase
Accession Number: 1937.10
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Location: Not currently on view

Kollwitz created this unflinching self-portrait at age 67, one year after Hitler came to power in Germany. Kollwitz' art was seen as degenerate by the Nazi regime. She was forced to resign her teaching position and was prohibited from exhibiting and publishing her work. In addition to the oppression of the Nazi regime, Kollwitz was struggling with the difficulty of aging. On New Year's Day, 1932, Kollwitz wrote in her diary, "Age remains age, that is, it pains, torments and subdues. When others see my scant achievements, they speak of a happy old age. I doubt that there is such a thing as happy old age...At the very point when death becomes visible behind everything, it disrupts the imaginative process."
Despite her own feelings of exhaustion and hopelessness, Kollwitz continued to create art until she was 76.

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