Noted for series like Weavers’ Revolt and Peasants’ War, sculptor and graphic artist, Käthe Kollwitz, came in contact with the urban poor when she moved into Berlin's working class area. Touched by their plight, she soon started portraying them through her etchings, lithographs, woodcuts, and drawings, quickly becoming a powerful advocate for those suffering from social injustice, war, and inhumanity.
Astrid Kirchherr was a German photographer and artist who was famous for the photographs she took of the original band members of the Beatles. She wanted to study fashion designing as a young woman but shifted to photography at the recommendation of a teacher. She later became acquainted with the Beatles and took several iconic photographs of them.
Born in Germany, Eva Hesse moved with her family to England, and then to the U.S., in a bid to escape the Nazi regime. Her death due to brain tumor at age 34 cut short her dynamic career. A sculptor and painter, she experimented with media such latex, metal, and mesh.
After being rejected by a dance school, Traudl Junge ditched her plan of becoming a ballerina and mastered typing instead. She later served as Adolf Hitler’s typist and was the youngest of his secretaries. After staying silent for years, she eventually revealed her experience to Austrian filmmaker Andre Heller.
German Jewish artist Charlotte Salomon was killed along with her unborn child by the Nazis at Auschwitz when she was barely 26. Her haunting memoir, Life? or Theater?, provides a graphic portrayal of her life through innovative transparencies and signature images. Its subtitle, singspiel, signifies it was a light opera.
Apart from being the only female member of the Berlin Dada group, German artist Hannah Höch was also the pioneer of the photomontage form of art. Her works explored the sexually and financially independent New Woman and challenged gender stereotypes. She also experimented with textiles and patterns.
Gabriele Munter was a German expressionist painter who led the Munich avant-garde movement in the early 20th century. She began to draw as a child and was supported in her ambitions by her parents. She went on to have a successful career and became a founding member of the expressionist group Der Blaue Reiter. She lived with painter Wassily Kandinsky.
Part of the German avant-garde movement and a prominent Dadaist, poet and artist Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven is best remembered for her sound poetry and her posthumously published book Body Sweats. It is believed the famous urinal Fountain sculpture thought to be a work of Marcel Duchamp was actually created by Elsa.
German socialite and philanthropist Gloria, Princess of Thurn and Taxis, or Princess TNT, had met her husband, Prince Johannes, when she was 19 and he was 53. Following his death, she was faced with a $500 million debt, sold off her riches, and became a Catholic activist.
German-born American textile designer Anni Albers redefined textile arts in the 20th century. While studying painting initially, she had reluctantly joined a weaving workshop, considered a woman’s art back then, and ended up being inspired by it. She and her husband later fled to the U.S. to escape the Nazi regime.
Rebecca Horn is a German visual artist best known for her body art, film directing, and installation art. Horn achieved popularity for her body sculptures where she attaches instruments and objects to the human body in order to create art. In 1992, Rebecca Horn received the Goslarer Kaiserring award, becoming the first woman to win the prestigious award.
Marianne Brandt was a German painter, photographer, sculptor, designer, and metalsmith. She is credited with designing several household objects like ashtrays, teapots, and lamps that are regarded as a paradigm of modern industrial design. After studying at the Bauhaus art school in Weimar, Marianne Brandt went on to serve as the head of the school's Metal Workshop in Dessau.
Gunta Stölzl created history when she became the first female master at the Bauhaus. While she initially studied applied arts, such as glass and mural paintings and ceramics, she also volunteered as a Red Cross nurse during World War I. She later focused on hand-woven tapestries and also owned a weaving mill.