Poster »Mothers, share your Abundance!«, 1926

Crayon lithograph (transfer), Kn 227 III b

Käthe Kollwitz, Poster »Mothers, share your Abundance!«, 1926, crayon lithograph (transfer), Kn 227 IIIb, Cologne Kollwitz Collection © Käthe Kollwitz Museum Köln

As early as 1921 Käthe Kollwitz wrote to Marie-Elise Kayser, who had opened the first collection point for breast milk in Magdeburg in 1919:


I think this idea is brilliant. This is surely a way of pushing down the rate of infant mortality. A poster advertising this idea could be like this: A young, happy woman with full breasts from which her own child has already had its fill, but that she is still holding on her arm. She lifts another, frail child and puts it on her breast. I would like to do something like this – simply because I find the whole idea so gratifying and delightful – but I cannot give you a firm promise, or only by February at the earliest.«
Käthe Kollwitz, Letters of Friendship, 16 December 1921

The deadline elapsed, however, and an exchange of letters with acceptances and cancellations dragged on over several years. It was only in 1926 that Käthe Kollwitz finally decided to accept the commission:


My cancellation really bothers me and I would like to tell you this:
I will try and work on the design straight away. If it is successful, you will receive it by 10 November. If it is not successful, then I can’t do it, at least not for the time being […]
Käthe Kollwitz, Letters of Friendship, 31 October 1926


Käthe Kollwitz Museum Köln

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