Presented by Louis Marchesano, the Audrey and William H. Helfand Senior Curator of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs at the Philadelphia Museum of Art; and former curator of prints and drawings at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles

German printmaker Käthe Kollwitz (1867–1945) is known for her unapologetic social and political imagery; her representations of grief, suffering, and struggle; and her ideas about artistic and political labels.

The meanings and sentiments emerging from Kollwitz’s images of struggling workers, rebellious peasants, and grieving mothers are not, as is often implied, unmediated expressions of her politics and emotions.

Louis Marchesano, author of the forthcoming book Käthe Kollwitz: Prints, Process, Politics, explores Kollwitz’s career. See how she transformed her images with deliberate technical and formal experiments, seemingly endless adjustments, wholesale rejections, and strategic regroupings of figures and forms—all of which demonstrate that her obsessive dedication to making art was never a straightforward means to political or emotional ends.

► After the talk, stay for the reception and meet the speaker. To see an example of Kollwitz’s work, visit the exhibition Miss Ima Hogg & Modernism in the Beck Building, and look for Überfahren (The Runover) or Mourners Carrying Dead Child.

Drop in! This lecture is free. On Thursdays, general admission free courtesy of Shell Oil Company. Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

► Plan ahead for your visit with parking information.


This lecture receives generous funding from the Virginia and Ira Jackson Endowment Fund at the MFAH.

All Learning and Interpretation programs at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, receive endowment funds provided by Louise Jarrett Moran Bequest; Caroline Wiess Law; the William Randolph Hearst Foundation; Cyvia and Melvyn Wolff; the National Endowment for the Humanities; the Fondren Foundation; BMC Software, Inc.; the Wallace Foundation; the Neal Myers and Ken Black Children’s Art Fund; Mr. and Mrs. A. L. Ballard; Mr. and Mrs. Charles W. Tate; the Eleanor and Frank Freed Foundation; Virginia and Ira Jackson; the Favrot Fund; Neiman Marcus Youth Arts Education; gifts in memory of John Wynne; and gifts in honor of Beth Schneider.