German illustrator and artist Heinrich Kley was born on this day in Karlsruhe, Germany. He studied what was known as Practical Arts in his home town, finishing his art education in Munich. His first works of art spanned a wide breadth of subjects. He settled into the use of watercolors and oils and began producing what people called "industrial art." He was also a biting cartoon editorialist. It was these works that gained a big fan in Walt Disney. He was such a big fan, that it is thought his collection of Kley's work was by far the largest in the world. As a result of that, Dover issued a book of Kley's art that became popular amongst admirers of Disney, and this is the reason that the U.S. is really the only place that he is remembered today. In his native Germany, he has all but been forgotten. This reason for his inclusion here, comes from just 1 film from the late 1920's. He is credited with "Art Director" on one of Rex Ingram's films The Three Passions, which was a very early talkie from 1928. There is some confusion as to when Kley died. Most sources cite the 2nd of August or 8th of February in 1945 at the age of 81; but there is enough doubt to seriously question that year, others claim the 8th February in 1952, in which case he would be been a very old man for the time. What is known, is that he died in Munich. Obviously, with this amount of confusion as to death year, it goes without saying that no one knows how his remains were handled after his death.
|One of Kley's editorial cartoons on the subject of Napoleon.|
IMDB (note the database spells his name wrong)