Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page 32 Page 33 Page 34 Page 35 Page 36 Page 37 Page 38 Page 39 Page 40 Page 41 Page 42 Page 43 Page 44 Page 45 Page 46 Page 47 Page 48 Page 49 Page 50 Page 51 Page 52 Page 53 Page 54 Page 55 Page 56 Page 57 Page 58 Page 59 Page 60 Page 61 Page 62 Page 63 Page 64 Page 65 Page 66 Page 67 Page 68 Page 69 Page 70 Page 71 Page 72 Page 73 Page 74 Page 75 Page 76 Page 77 Page 78 Page 79 Page 80 Page 81 Page 82ON VIEW MOTHERS’ ARMS: KÄTHE KOLLWITZ’S WOMEN AND WAR JANUARY 29–MAY 29, 2016 CURATOR’S PERSPECTIVE: HENRIETTE KETS DE VRIES THIS EXHIBITION EXAMINED THE ROLE OF WOMEN in German society through the lens of the artwork of Käthe Kollwitz (1867–1945), one of Germany’s most important and notable 20th-century artists. Mothers’ Arms drew upon the museum’s rich collection of 52 Kollwitz prints including two purchased in 1913, when SCMA was the first American museum to acquire works of the artist. The idea for the exhibition grew out of my observation that students from the many classes that use the Cunningham Center expressed a special affinity for Kollwitz’s work. I continued to develop my ideas during a Kahn Fellowship in 2012–2013. With the centennial of World War I and the sober fact that her work is still extremely relevant, specifically in the current political climate, the time was right to reintro- duce Kollwitz to a new generation of students. While visiting the Kollwitz Museum in Berlin and experiencing her work in situ, I was able to appre- ciate it on another level altogether. I pondered how we might provide some comparably immersive experience for our visitors. Kollwitz’s work and life as a mother, wife, artist and friend were deeply affected and shaped by the historical and personal events unfolding around her. I wanted our visitors to “travel” through her time. By creating a conversation between her artwork and her fascinating diary excerpts, and by placing her work within a historical-political context through propaganda materials and photographs, I hoped to contextualize her life and work and construct a more holistic educational experience. Alongside the direct changes in Kollwitz’s work, it would be important to address the changing popular sentiments that prevailed in the Germany of her lifetime. I tried to evoke this by the placement of two large, oppressive faux brick walls as a tableau to display representations of both World War I and II, sampling “loud” period-appropriate propaganda posters from the Library of Congress. The exhibition was designed to end with Kollwitz’s last works from her Death series, and to provide a place to contemplate these pieces alongside documentary footage of the postwar aftermath in Berlin. Kollwitz’s work has a true following and has inspired a completely new audience. These facts be- came evident to me through the extensive use of the exhibition by classes from numerous departments and institutions, and also through the many personal notes in which visitors expressed the impact the exhibition had on them. Working on Mothers’ Arms led to many interesting connections with Smith faculty and faculty from UMass, Hampshire College and Wellesley College. Fruitful partnerships also devloped with the UMass 26 ON VIEW: MOTHERS’ ARMS