Tomi Ungerer

Tomi Ungerer, actually Jean Thomas Ungerer, (* 28. November 1931 in Strasbourg, Elsass / France) is a French, internationally well-known commercial artist and above all Illustrator of picture books for children and adults. He sees himself as a Native of Alsace, not as a Frenchmanor German, and is a convinced European.

Table of contents


Tomi Ungerer are the fourth and youngest son in the family. Its father Théodore is after the family tradition a Uhrenmacher, that among other things the astronomical clock of the Strassburger cathedral waits, beyond that in addition, an artist and a historian. Ungerers nut/mother Alice, geb.Essler, originates from a familyfamily family of the Upper Rhine. He never becomes acquainted with his father, who dies at the consequences of a blood poisoning as Tomi only is four years old. Later he will dedicate some picture books to expressly four years old children. The nut/mother pulls after the death of the father with Tomiand its three brothers back to their parents' house after Logelbach with Colmar. There it grows up in a protected and warm goats atmosphere, which is sometimes clouded by too much welfare service of its nut/mother.

the early years

its school years become against it from war andOccupation coined/shaped. For further Drangsal and confusion a twice change of the instruction language provides: of French into the German language by authoritarian, National Socialist teachers and again back. That leads inevitably to difficulties with the French, so that he misses only scarcely the Baccalauréat (Abitur). After thatearly loss of its father it loses also still another safe life perspective. Nevertheless he can learn English under the Germans so well after the Berlitz - method that he may work after the war as interpreters for the French officers. Its early years become restless lehrand moving years across Europe, under it also a Stippvisite at a camel corps of the French army in Algeria. Ungerer tries much out and breaks it off fast also again. It does not seem to have much luck in the life and continue in such a way would have it probably aimlesslycan. Hardly something points on its later championship in the indication art.

But there on the one hand the respect for the education formation of the education middle class is, the love for the books and particularly to the painting. Above all it constantly appears a high energy and will power,to argue with new one and overcome borders. Thus it comes only late to a meeting and a finally intensive argument with the American culture into Strasbourg. In the American cultural center he discovers the works of the Cartoonisten Saul stone mountain and the draughtsman James Thurber. Soon stands itsResolution firmly: also it wants to be luck in the new world to search.


1956 emigrates Ungerer with sixty dollar in the bag to America, where it works at the same time in New York as draughtsman, painter, Illustrator, child book author and an advertising commercial artist. Already 1957 winit its first price for an illustrated Kinderbuch with the Harper publishing house, “The Mellops go flying”, a history with small Schweinchen. By program for its life's work unite in the figures of the small Schweinchen childlike innocence and in purely symbolic regard the vice. It creates at the same time therebyalso a best-seller. In the same year it knows already the contact with its later house publishing house, which inhabitants of zurich attach Diogenes publishing house. Center of the 1960er years shocks Ungerer with the Cartoonbänden “secret sketch book” and “The party”, in which it in drastic-sow-Irish way the New Yorker Schickeria onGrain takes. Ungerers creativity knows now also no more category borders and it uses gladly all drawing techniques. 1969 appear “Fornicon”, which is forbidden later in England. But the caricatures expose not Ungerer, but always “only” power illusion, Sexismus and greed. Its Drastik and Radikalität remainalways the means of a moralists.

Besides it makes also film posters among other things for the star directors Stanley Kubrick (Dr. Strangely) and Otto Preminger. In its New Yorker time it divides with the writer Philip Roth a holiday house on Long Iceland. To itsfurther literary friends count also Saul Bellow and Tom wolf. Later it retrospectively to summarize at the right time at the correct place to have been. Because of the hysteria in the McCarthy era look for many critical creative refuge in at that time still world-open New York. This climate of oneradical artistic liberty a gradual end takes toward end of the 1960er years with the arising of the hard drugs.

its sow-Irish

and erotomanischen designs encounter gradual home coming defiance of a liberal departure tendency in the USA there ever more criticism. Ungerer becomes from the FBIobserved and also its Kinderbücher are forbidden. It leaves 1971 New York after fourteen years of intensive work and looks for now the rural peace and inspiration on a farm in Canadian new Scotland. After the work for many years on the “large song book” (1975) homesickness drives it againback to Europe. Since 1976 it lives 160 hectars with the family, his second wife, the US American Yvonne WRIGHT and the children Aria (* 1976), Lukas (* 1978) and Pascal (* 1980), alternating on a large farm close of the city Cork in of Ireland southwest province Münsterand in Strasbourg. In the last 40 years the Workaholic brought approximately 40,000 designs to paper and published over 140 books. In approximately 100 exhibitions starting from 1979 its works were to be seen.


establishment of the “combination culture bank” 1990 in Strasbourg; Cooperationin the “Commission Interministérielle Franco allemande” starting from 1987; “Ambassadors for childhood and education” for the Council of Europe since 2000.


of the many honors, which it received in the course of its life, are here only some mentioned: 1983 the Jacob Burckhardt - price of the Johann Wolfgang Goethe donation in Basel, 1992 appointment as the “500 World Leaders OF Influence” by the “American Biographical of institutes”, 1993 the German Order of Merit, 1995 the French “large national price for graphics”, 1998 the international Hans Christian differently EN price, 2001 the appointment as the officer franz. Ehrenlegion, 2003 “Erich KästnerPrice for literature " the resident of Munich Erich Kästner society registered association., Laudatorin was ehem. BVerfG - president Jutta Limbach, 2004 the University of Karlsruhe.


the Fontaine de Janus in Strasbourg

in Strasbourg the “Centre Tomi is since 2001Ungerer” [1]. The museum collection is based on a donation of the artist with a part of its graphic life's work (7,000 designs, 2,000 posters and diagrams etc.) as well as a large toy collection, family archives, press articles and photographies.
2007 are also at the “Place de la République” in ParisUngerer museum to be inaugurated.

Ungerer seized

picture books for children in more than 80 Kinderbüchern always very much projecting SAM and kindly a party for the rights of the children to self-sufficiency, curiosity and self implementation.

  • The three robbers (1963)
  • Crictor the good queue (1963)
  • six small pigs(1963)
  • The moon man (1966)
  • Warwick and the 3 bottles (1967)
  • much gibt's, that at any time four years old children makes (1969)
  • Zeraldas happy giant (1970)
  • the farmer and the donkey (1971)
  • the magician's apprentice (1971)
  • the hat (1972)
  • the beast of the Monsieur Racine (1972)
  • dad snatches and itsstill never do not dagewesenen stories (1973)
  • a kiss for nut/mother (1974) ISBN 3257250185
  • Allumette (1974)
  • Tomi Ungerers fairy tale book (1975)
  • Emil, the helpful Tintenfisch (1980)
  • Rufus, the colored bat (1980)
  • Otto. Autobiografie of a Teddybären (1999) ISBN 3257008570
  • the blue cloud (2000) ISBN of 3257008678

picture books for adults

The same deciveness, with which it exerts itself for the needs and interests of the children, reveals Ungerer also in its sexual fantasies and satires. The Radikalität of its visions and Obsessionen becomes only by the beauty of its Aquarellierung and the harmony of its always easy and livelyAlignment moderated.

  • Tomi Ungerers world pain (1961)
  • Basil Ratzki (1967)
  • Tomi Ungerers secret sketch book (1968)
  • The party (1969)
  • Fornicon (1970)
  • Tomi Ungerers of compromises (1970)
  • the Sexmaniak (1971)
  • Ho Ho wedding (1971)
  • The poster kind OF Tomi Ungerer (1972)
  • the mirror human being (1973)
  • Adam & Eva (1974)
  • is pleasedyou the life (1975)
  • America (1975)
  • the successful businessman (1976)
  • polepole poles (1976)
  • Babylon (1979)
  • politrics (1979)
  • the Furz. [From the Big Bang to today. The documentation of the Furzens most comprehensive within living memory], zsgest. and come. by Alfred Limbach, ill. of Tomi Ungerer, hrsg. by Robert finery. Cologne:Argos press (1980) 142 S., Ill., partially. color.
  • Symptomatics (1982)
  • the Kamasutra for frogs (1982)
  • Rigor Mortis (1983)
  • Slow Agony (1983)
  • today here, tomorrow away (1983)
  • Tomi Ungerers women (1984)
  • freshly, frog, merrily, freely (1985)
  • waiting area (1985)
  • protection gel of hell (1986) ISBN 3257020163
work on []

For all


  • how/as country Backes (1990): Tomi Ungerer with Alexa Franke, Germain Mueller, Roger Siffer and its friends [picture clay/tone carriers]. Direction: Brigitte Dimter. Stuttgart: Süddt. Broadcast, 1 video cassette [video home system] 93 min.: color.
  • Percy Adlon (1997): Man before savages landscape. One day with Tomiand Yvonne Ungerer in Ireland. Direction: Percy Adlon. With Tomi Ungerer. ARTE /pelemele of film GmbH. 1 video cassette [video home system] 117 min.: color., mono.
  • Stefan short reads Tomi Ungerer (2000): No kiss for nut/mother, Flix, the hat. [Clay/tone carriers]. Direction: Angelika Schaack. Hamburg:Hearing company. 1 Tonkassette 37 min.ISBN 3-935036-15-9
  • Tomi Ungerer (2001): Today here, tomorrow away. Zurich: None & however. 3 CDs with Booklet. Spieldauer: 3 hr. 15 min. ISBN 3-0369-1204-5
    - Ozone Ungerer

secondary literature

  • William Hornbostel (Hrsg.): Tomi Ungerer. Between Marianne and Germania[on the occasion of the exhibitions of the same name in the museum for art and trade, Hamburg 19. December 1999-13. February 2000, and in the German historical museum, Berlin 16. März-13. June 2000]. Munich: Prestel, 1999, 109 S., überw. Ill.
  • Willer, Thérèse (2003): Tomi Ungerer, the “Picasso” OF caricature, Graphis.The internationally journal OF Design and communication, volume. 59, No. 348, p. 18 - 37.

Web on the left of

  • {{#if:
| | * Literature of and over Tomi Ungerer in the catalog of the DDB





  • Tomi Ungerer over its parents:
    My father drew it like a Vamp. And it also photographed. That was connected everything together, everything. (18. April 2004) [2]
  • over the Elsass:
    One must ask oneself whether the Elsassnot directly of the Middle Ages in the pensionable age, the snailful elsässische nature landed. [3]
  • However the Native of Alsace suffers still from uncertainty feelings and a zerspaltenen identity. What am I? By oscillating between two powers we have enough doubts, in order to compare well. The relativity feedsour humor, a humor (like the Jewish or Irish one) of the minority. [...] My elsässischer humor helped me, means internal anger to overcome disgust and annoyance and respect and like humans, as long as they suppress their arrogance.
    (in: Hornbostel 1999, 7)
  • over itsLife:
    I was always interested in birds - and also to birds, both. [4]
  • I had no Abitur. I went even by hitchhikers to Karlsruhe, in order to know whether I could study mineralogy and geology there. No, without Abitur that was not possible.And now I am of the same university as doctor honoris causa. It is unbelievable. [5]
  • „my satires had become harder, which the Americans could not accept. I was attacked in the congress, as I it to dare can to make Kinderbücher with erotischen designs. I haveanswered that there would be no children without Sex now times. Afterwards I was settled in America. Until before eight years my books stood on the black list [1993]. Since at that time I am allergisch against America, but not against the Americans, finally is my Mrs. Amerikanerin. “ (26. November 2001) [6]


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