• January 28 | 2–3 PM
  • Museum of Art
  • Join Henriette Kets de Vries, exhibition curator
and manager of the Cunningham Center, for a first glimpse of the exhibition before it opens to the public. Excerpts from the artist’s diaries as well as archival film, photographs, and German propaganda materials will provide cultural context and personal insights into the depiction of women in Kollwitz’s time.

    Members: $5 | Student Members: FREE | Members may bring up to 2 guests | Space limited | RSVP by January 26: or 413.585.2777



  • February 12 Second Friday
  • 4–6 PM Printed with Love Try your hand at printmaking and create Valentines for your loved ones
  • 6–6:30 PM Open Eyes Guided conversation about one work of art in the exhibition
  • 6–7 PM Book signing for the exhibition catalogue
  • 7 PM Film screening. See FILM SERIES
  • Museum Shop open + Light refreshments 



Free with admission | Meet in museum lobby 


  • February 5 | 12:15–12:45 PM
  • Barry Moser, Professor-in-Residence in Art & Printer to the College, Smith College
  • Noted printmaker and illustrator Barry Moser shares his insights to Kathe Kollwitz’s work.


  • March 4 | 12:15–12:45 PM
  • Katy Schneider, Lecturer, Art Department, Smith College
  • Painter Katy Schneider discusses her view of Kathe Kollwitz’s work.


  • April 1 | 12:15–12:45 PM
  • Henriette Kets de Vries,  Manager, Cunningham Center for the Study of Prints, Drawings and Photographs, SCMA and Curator of “Mother’s Arms: Kathe Kollwitz’s Women and War”
  • Curator Henriette Kets de Vries draws upon Kathe Kollwtiz’s diaries to place her work within an historical context.


  • May 21 | 2 PM
  • Reunion Weekend
  • Museum of Art
  • Join Hildegard Bachert, Co-Director of Galerie St. Etienne, NYC and Henriette Kets de Vries, exhibition curator for a discussion of the work of Germany’s leading female artist during the 20th century.


  • March 22 | 7 PM
  • Käthe Kollwitz and the Polarity of Beauty: Nietzsche or “The Silesian Angel”?
  • Joseph McVeigh, Professor of German Studies, SCMA
  • The art of Käthe Kollwitz has been largely defined by its focus on the poor and the oppressed, and the artist herself has been cast as “the voice of the silence of the suffering people” (Romain Rolland). And yet, such a public image ignores some foundational sources of her creativity that are drawn from the solidly middle-class cultural norms of the “Bildungsbürger“, i.e. those of German high culture, as well as from an almost mystical inwardness, cultural elements not typically associated with the working classes of her time. Her reflections on art in her diary led her to recognize a certain indebtedness to a wide range of cultural influences, from the 19th century philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche to the 17th century mystic, Angelus Silesius (“The Silesian Angel”). Prof. McVeigh’s lecture will explore these influences and their import for her work.
  • Wright Hall | Weinstein Auditorium | Smith College


  • April 12 | 7 PM
  • Finding the Krieg Cycle: Kathe Kollwitz, World War I, and the Creation of an Iconic Print Series
  • Claire Whitner, Associate Curator, Davis Museum at Wellesley College
  • Käthe Kollwitz’s groundbreaking print series,Krieg (War) was published nine years after her son was killed on a WWI battlefield in October 1914. Claire Whitner explores Kollwitz’s artistic development alongside her process of mourning—one that proceeded from very devastating, personal grief to an insightful meditation on war and its cost to society.
  • Hillyer Hall | Graham Auditorium | Smith College



Presented by the Smith College Museum of Art in collaboration with the DEFA Film Library at UMass Amherst, as part of Second Fridays.


Graham Hall | Graham Auditorium | Smith College 


  • February 12 Second Friday | 7 PM
  • Käthe Kollwitz: Images of a Life
  • 95 min, GDR, 1987, German with English subtitles, Director: Ralf Kirsten
  • Käthe Kollwitz was 47 years old and already a well-established artist in Germany and abroad when her youngest son Peter volunteered to fight in World War I, and was killed two weeks later. This film pieces parts of Kollwitz's letters and diaries together in a mosaic-like self-portrait in the aftermath of this painful tragedy. Introduced by Dr. Skyler Arndt-Briggs, Executive Director, DEFA Film Library at UMass Amherst.


  • March 11 Second Friday | 7 PM
  • Kuhle Wampe or Who Owns The World?
  • 69 min, GDR, 1932, German with English subtitles, Director: Slatan Dudo
  • In this avant-garde masterpiece, filmmaker Slatan Dudo (1903-63) brings together writer Bertolt Brecht and cameraman Gunther Krampf (Nosferatu) to tell the story of a working-class family in Berlin in the early 1930s. The film depicts Berlin during artist Kathe Kollwitz lifetime. Kollwitz lived in the working-class districtPrenzlauer Bergwhere her husband had his medical clinic. The film was censored in 1932 for portraying left-wing youth culture. Dr. Skyler Arndt-Briggs, Executive Director, DEFA Film Library at UMass Amherst.
  • “One of the best films of the century.”  Village Voice, Film Critics Poll, 1999



  • February 12 + April 12 | 4:30–8:30 pm
  • Käthe Kollwitz—An Artist & Her Time
  • Through the visual art and personal diaries of Käthe Kollwitz, explore change that occurred over time in Germany.
  • Each session: $20 members | $30 non-members Email for registration details
  • Although this is designed as a two-part workshop, registrants may sign up for one part or both.
  • A vegetarian meal will be served | Snow date: March 11


  • To learn about scheduling guided and self-guided visits to this exhibition as well as SCMA’s permanent collection galleries, go to 


See a complete list of  MOTHERS' ARMS Käthe Kollwitz's WOMEN AND WAR related programs