Tomi Ungerer

Tomi (Jean-Thomas) Ungerer (born November 28, 1931) in Strasbourg is a French illustrator best known for his erotic and political illustrations as well as children's books.


Tomi Ungerer was born in Strasbourg in Alsace. His mother Alice moved to Logelbach, near Colmar, after the death of Tomi's father, Theodore -- an artist, engineer, and astronomical clock manufacturer -- in 1936. Ungerer also lived through the German occupation of Alsace, causing his house to be requisitioned by the army of Nazi Germany.

Ungerer moved to United States in 1956. The following year, Ungerer published his first children's book for Harper & Row, The Mellops Go Flying. He also did illustration work for The New York Times and for television during this time, and began to create posters denouncing the Vietnam War.

After Allumette; A Fable, with Due Respect to Hans Christian Andersen, the Grimm Brothers, and the Honorable Ambrose Bierce in 1974, Ungerer ceased writing children's books, focusing instead on adult-level books, many of which focused on sexuality. He eventually returned to children's literature with Flix, 1998.

He currently lives on the Mizen Peninsula in Ireland, where he and his wife moved in 1976. In 1998, Tomi Ungerer was awarded the Hans Christian Andersen Award for illustration.

In 2007, his hometown dedicated him a museum, the Musée Tomi Ungerer - centre international de l'illustration.

Overview of work

Ungerer's themes include the Vietnam War, eroticism (especially sadomasochism), bigotry in various forms and imaginative subjects for children's books.


List of exhibitions

Melbourne Cup

Other works


  • "If people were brave enough to live out their erotic fantasies, pornography would disappear altogether. I've always believed that eroticism, even more than sensuality, is a form of liberation." -- Erotoscope

External links

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