Next Meeting: ‘Motherhood at the Centre: Connecting Creativity and Reproduction in Käthe Kollwitz’s Artistic Practice’ – 7th November, 4-5pm, HumSS280

Hello all! Here is the abstract for our next talk which will be on Monday 7th November at 4pm in HumSS280. The paper is by Elizabeth Kajs from the History of Art department at the University of Bristol. The title is ‘Motherhood at the Centre: Connecting Creativity and Reproduction in Käthe Kollwitz’s Artistic Practice’. We look forward to welcoming Elizabeth to Reading…

Elizabeth’s abstract:File:Käthe Kollwitz um 1906.jpg
This paper will examine how Käthe Kollwitz used maternal subjectivity as both the impetus and site of her creativity. Kollwitz often correlated the production of art with reproduction. Although many of her contemporaries considered the identities of ‘woman’ and ‘artist’ to be incongruous, Kollwitz consistently toiled to present the mother as a subject within a culture which offered ‘no language or discursive framework for her creative expression.’ While motherhood signalled the loss of an individual and social self in early twentieth-century Germany, Kollwitz’s maternal iconography subverts this belief by offering a metaphor for a specifically female model of creativity; one which is based on female virility and reproduction.

 

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