Casting history

Käthe Kollwitz Museum Köln

Analogue is slow, quiet, old-fashioned,
and sometimes precisely what is needed.

When renowned German artist Käthe Kollwitz died in 1945, she left behind a prolific collection of etchings, carvings, lithographs, drawings and sculptures. It’s no surprise that schools, streets and squares across Germany are named after her. There’s even a Kollwitz asteroid. That’s why it’s so hard to believe that a dedicated display of Kollwitz’s sculptures was lacking for so long. If you went looking for an exhibition catalogue you would be left disappointed. There was no one place to find Kollwitz’s sculptures, discover what they were named and what they meant.

That all changed in 2016, when the Käthe Kollwitz Museum in Cologne curated and presented the first catalogue of Kollwitz sculptures. After years of research, the museum brought together the artist’s entire collection of preserved sculptural work under one roof – and we helped. The room concept we developed allows the museum to display over 140 sculptures, as well as drawings and graphics that are explained with unassuming tools. Presented in an aesthetically pleasing way, the visitor can uncover the secrets of the sculptures. To that end, we refrained from adding unnecessary elements that could compromise the integrity of her works.

Subtle shades of colour define each exhibition area and display cabinets reveal the secrets of bronze casting with the push of a button. Partition walls and platforms showcase the sculptures at their best, while strategically positioned lights restructure surfaces and introduce new textures. And, there is not a digital aid in site. No flickering screens, no mobile apps and no interactive tablets. Analogue after all is timeless. And, sometimes precisely what is needed.