Making Modernism at the Royal Academy 

Paula Modersohn-Becker,Portrait of an Italian Girl, 1906. Private collection, on long-term loan to The Courtauld Gallery, London. 



Making Modernism is the first major UK exhibition devoted to pioneering women working in Germany in the early 1900s: Paula Modersohn-Becker, Kӓthe Kollwitz, Gabriele Münter and Marianne Werefkin. Celebrated in their native homelands, this exhibition will introduce their innovative paintings and works on paper, alongside key pictures by Erma Bossi, Ottilie Reylaender and Jacoba van Heemskerck.


Käthe Kollwitz,Self-portrait, 1889.  Käthe Kollwitz Museum Köln.

The exhibition reframes subjects including portraiture and self-portraiture through the experiences and perspectives of these ground-breaking artists. Traditional themes associated with modernism are highlighted differently through these women artists, underscored by negotiations between their professional careers and traditional roles as mothers. The first section focuses on portraiture and self portraiture, entitled: ‘Ourselves and Others’. The exhibition proposes that the self-portrait became a crucial genre to women artists at the time; both to establish a presence in public life when exhibited and to explore their identity as an artist. Portraits of others reveal their connections internationally within the art scene, but also to a wider avant-garde scene.

Paula Modersohn-Becker,Portrait of an Italian Girl, 1906. Private collection, on long-term loan to The Courtauld Gallery, London.

The exhibition is on until the 12th February 2023. Find out more and book tickets here.

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