Born in Strasbourg in 1931, Ungerer has worked in New York, Canada and Ireland as well as his place of birth. He has published over 140 books which have been translated into 30 languages, ranging from his acclaimed children’s stories to illustrated memoirs to controversial volumes of social satire and adult themes.
Renowned for his iconic advertising campaigns and his political posters that railed against the Vietnam War and racial injustice in the 1960s, Ungerer’s work is often described as subversive. It provides invaluable commentary on the social and political changes that have occurred since the second half of the twentieth century. His political engagement continues to this day and he has been involved in numerous campaigns against Racism and Fascism, for Nuclear disarmament, Ecology and numerous humanitarian causes including important campaigns for European integration and in particular for Franco-German relations.
In 2003 Ungerer was appointed as the first Ambassador for Childhood and Education by the Council of Europe. In 2007 the Tomi Ungerer Museum opened in Strasbourg, making Ungerer the first living artist to have a museum dedicated to their life and work in France. Since then, the Tomi Ungerer Museum has been voted as one of the ten best museums in Europe by the Council of Europe.
His solo exhibitions include many acclaimed institutions such as the Musée d’Art Moderne et Contemporain in Strasbourg, the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, the Wilhelm-Busch-Museum in Hanovre, the Itabashi Art Museum in Tokyo, the Stadtmuseum in Munich, the Max Ernst Museum in Brühl, the Kunsthalle Würth in Schwabisch Hall, the Drawing Center in New York and in 2015/2016, the Kunsthaus, Zurich and the Folkwang Museum, Essen. Click here for a full list of Tomi Ungerer’s exhibitions.
In 2014, Ungerer was awarded one of the most distinguished honours in France, Commandeur de l’Ordre National du Mérite, by President Hollande. This award was given in recognition of his continued lifelong struggle against prejudice using both artistic and political means.