© President and Fellows of Harvard College
Identification and Creation
Object Number
Hans Uhlmann, German (Berlin, Germany 1900 - 1975 Berlin, Germany)
Untitled (Head)
Other Titles
Original Language Title: Ohne Titel (Kopf)
Work Type
Physical Descriptions
Transparent and opaque watercolor and black ink on off-white handmade laid paper
58.2 x 41.5 cm (22 15/16 x 16 5/16 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • Signed: in blue ink at l.c.: H. Uhlmann 47
  • inscription: on verso at l.c., graphite, handwritten, German, in artist's hand: Hans Uhlmann / Berlin-Steglitz / Birkbusch Strasse 84
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Busch-Reisinger Museum, Gift of Hester Diamond
Accession Year
Object Number
Modern and Contemporary Art
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Label Text: Inventur—Art in Germany, 1943–55 , written 2018
Best known as a sculptor, Uhlmann also developed an extensive body of works on paper. His sculptures examine surface and depth, and this is no less true with his creations in watercolor, pen, and ink. Uhlmann’s drawing practice began in earnest when he was imprisoned by the Nazis in the 1930s for distributing communist leaflets. Elaborate figurative drawings made in prison greatly influenced his wartime sculpture, such as that on view nearby. After the war, Uhlmann retained his interest in the human form, but sought in his drawings greater spontaneity and material specificity. Here, brushy ink lines suggest a visage and multiple perspectives on a head and shoulders. A reduced palette of colors creates a further web of intersecting planes. For Uhlmann, drawing was an independent practice, one that often allowed him greater freedom to explore formal problems than was possible with sculpture.

Publication History

Peter Nisbet and Joseph Koerner, The Busch-Reisinger Museum, Harvard University Art Museums, ed. Peter Nisbet, Harvard University Art Museums and Scala Publishers Ltd. (Cambridge, MA and London, England, 2007), p. 76

Lynette Roth and Ilka Voermann, Inventur—Art in Germany, 1943–55, exh. cat., Harvard Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 2018), pp. 120-124, cat. no. 2.3, ill. (color)

Exhibition History

Inventur—Art in Germany, 1943–55, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 02/09/2018 - 06/03/2018

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of Modern and Contemporary Art at am_moderncontemporary@harvard.edu