Film screening

Käthe Kollwitz: Images of a Life

Film-still: Käthe Kollowitz Movie


Goethe-Institut New York

30 Irving Place
New York, NY 10003


Language: German with English subtitles
Price: Free admission
+1 212 4398700 Registration is required for this event

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Co-presented with DEFA Film Library

To commemorate the ongoing Käthe Kollwitz exhibition at MoMA, the German Film Office is pleased to present a special in-person screening of Ralf Kirsten’s biopic Käthe Kollwitz: Images of a Life (1986), in cooperation with the DEFA Film Library at the UMass Amherst. Starr Figura, the exhibition’s curator, will introduce the film. Please register to attend.
Register Käthe Kollwitz was 47 years old and already a well-established artist when Peter, her youngest son, volunteered to join the German army in World War I and was killed two weeks later. This painful tragedy changed Kollwitz’s life and art forever. She became a radical pacifist; in her work, she reflected on her son and the meaning of war. After signing a petition against the Nazis, she was excluded from the Prussian Academy of Arts, and her art was classified as “degenerate.” Lonely and sick, Kollwitz spent the last days of her life near Dresden where she died at the age of 78 short before the end of World War II. 

Ralf Kirsten—director of The Lost Angel (1966/71), a homage to German Expressionist artist Ernst Barlach—used episodes from Kollwitz’s unpublished letters and diaries to fit them together in this mosaic-like portrait. 

“Jutta Wachowiak’s dramatic expertise generates scenes filled with beauty and courage, cinematic moments with a profound and lasting impact.” (Morgen)

Käthe Kollwitz – Bilder eines Lebens
Dir. Ralf Kirsten
East Germany, 1986
95 min.
With Jutta Wachowiak, Carmen-Maja Antoni, Fred Düren, Mattias Freihof, Walfriede Schmitt, Axel Werner

Starr Figura is Curator in the Department of Drawings and Prints at MoMA and a specialist in modern and contemporary prints. Among the many exhibitions she has organized over the years are Käthe Kollwitz (2024), Félix Fénéon: The Anarchist and the Avant-Garde (2020), Gauguin: Metamorphoses (2014), German Expressionism: The Graphic Impulse (2011), and Lucian Freud: The Painter’s Etchings (2007). Prior to joining MoMA in 1993, Starr worked in the Print Room at the New York Public Library and at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. She holds an MA in art history from Columbia University, and a BA in art history from Bryn Mawr College.