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The Power of the Sculpted Image

March 2, 2018

image BBC website

Kaethe Kollwitz's most famous sculpture, Mother and Her Dead Son, sits in the middle of the Neue Wache (The New Guardhouse) on the Unter Den Linden in Berlin. Statues that glorify brave young warriors abound, but there are few such truthful and painful memorials to the real human cost of war.

Kollowitz's work was suppressed by the Nazis and this prominent statue represents Germany's new position after the war. It is visited each year by thousands of people. In the radio 4 programme "The World in 3D'  ( link below until Thurs 29th March ) Lucy Lunt interviewed some of the visitors and what they said revealed the power of the sculpted image. 

They talked to her about the emotions it evoked, the nature of motherhood, the tragedy of war and the desire to do better for future generations. For one young man, it inspired him to call his mother, over six hundred miles away, to say ' thank you' and ' I'm sorry'.

image BBC website

"It makes people respectful...''    and    "breeds concern for their fellow man..."  and  "copies should be made... to be distributed around the world.."