Karl Uhlemann II

August 8, 2010

Faoi Rún Go hÉirinn, Seán Ó Ciardhuáin, FNT, 1972. Design: Karl Uhlemann

Sléibhte Mhaigh Eo, Mícheál Ó hOdhráin, FNT, 1964. Design: Karl Uhlemann

Crumbling Castle, Patricia Lavelle, Clonmore & Reynolds, 1949. Design: Karl Uhlemann

Old Celtic Romances, P.W. Joyce, Talbot Press, 1963. Design: Karl Uhlemann

An Doras Grianlasta, Lorcán Ó Treasaigh, FNT, 1983. Design: Karl Uhlemann

Since I last posted on the work of Karl Uhlemann I’ve managed to dig up some more nice examples of his work but more importantly I’m now able to fill in some biographical detail. Theo Snoddy’s very informative Dictionary of Irish Artists: 20th Century tells us that Karl Uhlemann Jnr was born in 1912. His father Karl Snr was a landscape painter born near Leipzig. I still can’t say for definite if he was born in Ireland but we do know that his father was resident in Dublin from 1915 when he first exhibited at the R.H.A. Karl Snr obviously had an influence on his son’s choice of career and the creative streak in the family continued with Karl Jnr’s son Rai. I will feature some of Rai’s work in a future post.

These examples of Karl Uhlemann’s work are from dates between the late forties and the early eighties – almost 35 years. Crumbling Castle is the earliest example and although it is uncredited, the KU in the lower left hand side and the similarity to other covers by him leave us in no doubt.

My favourite of these covers is Faoi Rún Go hÉirinn. The moonlit illustration, which raps around to the back cover, is beautifully rendered and doesn’t suffer a bit from the rough print job. An Doras Grianlasta is the least successful. The typography feels like an after thought and there has been no attempt to tie it in with the illustration. It is a good example of how design quality suffered as a result of technological ‘advances’ in the late seventies and into the eighties.

9 Responses to “Karl Uhlemann II”


  1. […] Karl Uhlemann II I do love The Hitone cover blog! Read more… […]

  2. Stan Says:

    These are lovely! Thanks for posting them. I’m especially drawn to the Joyce cover, but I’m not sure about the colour scheme for the Ó hOdhráin…


  3. […] Uhlemann’s work and what little I’ve been able to ascertain of his biography in these two earlier posts. LD_AddCustomAttr("AdOpt", "1"); LD_AddCustomAttr("Origin", "other"); […]

  4. linda uhlemann Says:

    Karl Uhlemann was my father-in- law his father karl Uhlemann senior was born in Lipzig but married an Irish woman and all his five children were born here. He was Chef in the Gresham a painter and a musican. Karl Uhlemann worked as a designer in the Three Candles and designed the Collumcille Typeface. There
    are references in the National Print Musem. In later life Karl worked as a teacher in Rathmines College until the day he died aged 82. The College was astonished to find they had an 82 year old working for them!.

  5. Derek O' Hare Says:

    Hi i have a print plum harvest woodblock by karl uhlemann it was in the back of a picture dated 1951 is it worth anything
    Regards
    Derek

    • hitone Says:

      Hi Derek,

      I have no idea about the financial value of Karl Uhlemann’s work but in artistic terms it has plenty of merit.
      Whytes in Molesworth Street or De Búrca Books in Dawson Street might be able to help you with a valuation.

      All the best,
      Niall

  6. Fred Daly Says:

    Karl Uhlemann was married to my fathers first cousin Kathleen Daly.I got their Marriage cert this morning,his fathers occupation is listed as a Chef.Only found out the name a few days ago.


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