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How Does Art Express Pain?

Mothers don’t want their sons fighting in wars. Kathe Kollwitz did not want her son to join the German Army during WWI. 

Her worst fears came true when the young man died within a few months. Peter Kollwitz was buried at Roggevelde, the German-soldier cemetery in Belgium. His final-resting spot is not far from the town of Ypres, a place where many soldiers, from both sides, died during “The Great War.”

An artist, Kathe Kollwitz did not live near the cemetery where her son was buried. She created a memorial for him, entitled “Grieving Parents,” which stands near his grave.

Examine pictures of “Grieving Parents” contained in Chapter 9 of the “Lusitania Sinking” story. What do these sculptures tell you about the artist and the love she had for her son?

How does art express pain?

Have you ever expressed personal pain by creating some form of art work? What did you create?

Did expressing your pain, in that way, help you to get through the grief? Explain your answer.

Why do you think expressing pain through art sometimes helps us to cope with grief?


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