On Käthe Kollwitz & the Mappa Mundi.
Recent links of note:
“MoMA, Neue Galerie Jointly Acquire Striking Käthe Kollwitz Self-Portrait”
Angelica Villa, ARTNews
The Neue Galerie, the New York museum specializing in early twentieth-century German and Austrian art, and MOMA have jointly acquired a somber self-portrait by Käthe Kollwitz (1867–1945) from 1904, one of the few works made in color by the German artist. Born in the Prussian city of Königsberg (now in modern-day Russia), Kollwitz is best known for her black-and-white prints of women and the working classes and for depicting the brutal realities of war (one of her own sons was killed within the first few weeks of WWI.) Though trained as a painter, the artist began experimenting around 1890 with sculpture and the graphic arts, including the etchings, lithographic prints, and woodcuts for which she would be most remembered. Angelica Villa reports in ARTNews that MOMA, which holds thirty-four other works by Kollwitz, will be hosting a major survey exhibition on the artist in the near future.
Mary Wellesley, London Review of Books
The historian Mary Wellesley, the author of the recently published book on medieval manuscripts The Gilded Page, explores the world’s largest surviving medieval map in this week’s London Review of Books. Still located in Hereford, where it was likely produced, the so-called Mappa Mundi is no “map of the world” in any modern sense. Instead, as Wellesley explains, this fourteenth-century creation “describes both space and time, biblical history, classical mythology, spiritual truth.” Replete with crocodiles, bears, ostriches, and a dog-headed man, the calfskin map depicts a circular world surrounded by a vast ocean and contains illustrations of events from the past and future, including the expulsion from Eden and the Last Judgment. “Maps,” she concludes, “often tell us more about their makers than they do about the world.”
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